New Bill Could Freeze Rent for 24,000 NYC Seniors

Senior Citizen Legislation

Margaret Chin a Manhattan City Councilwoman introduced a new bill on April 10th that would greatly benefit the senior community living in New York City today. This proposed bill would put a rent freeze on senior citizens that are currently earning $50,000 or less annually.

"The goal is to protect seniors by making sure they are able to stay in their current apartments, and more importantly, in the neighborhoods they helped build," Ms. Chin said to Crains NY.

Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption Program, more colloquially known as SCRIE, has been around for a long time, the income cap under the current program is $29,000 annually. That’s an extremely low amount for anyone living in NYC regardless if you’re a senior citizen or not.

How the SCRIE program works is: you must be 62 years old or older, you can not be working currently, you have to live in an apartment that is regulated by the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, uphold the annual income cap, and pay more than one-third of the household’s total monthly income for rent.

Needless to say there’s a few stipulations for qualification. One of the biggest is the income cap being what it is, for dual income homes an increase would allow more seniors to benefit from this program. Infact if the cap was expanded to $50,000 than 24,000 more New York City residents would be able to enjoy the benefits of the SCRIE Program.

Besides the savings seniors would receive through the rent freeze, landlords will also be able to receive gains from the program as well. The Department of Finance who is responsible for operating the program will give landlords property tax breaks to make up for their lost rent.

This would be the first income increase to the bill that will opt the legislation into the modern age. The SCRIE Program has only increased income twice before over the last decade with the proposed increased being the greatest income raise ever instituted.

Albany has already passed the legislation and is looking towards New York City to follow suit. Already gaining tons of support from the City Council, Mayor Bill de Blasio is the one who will decide if the income increase for New York City seniors will go into effect.