The Real Deal New York

Nearly 100K NYC households pass up millions in rent subsidies

Only 39% of eligible residents have signed up, Department of Finance report shows

December 11, 2014 12:50PM

jiha

From left: Map of subsidy program users and Jacques Jiha

Nearly 100,000 eligible households in New York City aren’t taking advantage of two rent subsidy programs, according to a new report from the city’s Department of Finance.

About 61 percent of the city’s residents who could be benefiting from the Senior Citizen Rental Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and the Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) have not signed up. The report shows that 61,000 households do rely on the rent subsidies, while 94,000 do not.

Senior citizens who reside in rent-regulated apartments and spent more than one-third of their income on rent are eligible, for example. Under SCRIE, the city would cover rent increases incurred through tax reductions to the landlords. The income ceiling grew this year to $50,000 from $29,000.

The city launched both subsidy programs in 1970.

“Enrollment numbers have remained more or less constant for the last 15 years,” Jacques Jiha, commissioner for the Department of Finance told the New York Post. “There is a need for a better, targeted outreach approach to inform and enroll eligible New Yorkers.” [NYP]Mark Maurer

  • JEng

    maybe their undeniable income is on the high side

    • Charles Dale

      That can change because…

      Senior citizens who reside in rent-regulated apartments and spent more than one-third of their income on rent are eligible, for example. Under SCRIE, the city would cover rent increases incurred through tax reductions to the landlords. The income ceiling grew this year to $50,000 from $29,000.

      I bet, since the income ceiling just grew, a lot of people do not know this who did not qualify before but do now. My mom was on SCRIE and when her income went a little above $29,000 a year, they notified her that she no longer qualified. They gave her 2 extra months on SCRIE and then told her that was it. She did receive a letter a couple of months ago telling her that the income requirements were raised to $50,000. She re applied and qualified to go back on SCRIE. She has a 2 bedroom in Rego Park where, with SCRIE, she only has to pay $667 a month, gas and electric included for a corner apt, on the 14th floor. The building is 70% shareholders and 30% renters. Nice building, nice neighborhood. For people who were not on SCRIE, they would probably not know of the new income ceiling since they would not get a letter from the agency stating so.

      • JEng

        It’s pretty weird that they hiked the income when it is right at the average for working NYers and certainly above any salary earned in our family of greedy slumlords and yes HIGHER than not making money at all from running the building.

        Why would they hike it? Did they have friends in rent regulated apartments? that income limit is not about resolving an unaffordability issue if half of NY is not making that much.

        • Charles Dale

          My mom receives a newsletter for the elderly poor of New York City that said there was an increase in the income ceiling due to an increase in the budget that NYC and NY State governments received with the passing of the new budgets. Mom was glad and so are the seniors and disabled in New York that spend more than 30% of their incomes on rent. About 61 percent of the city’s residents who could be benefiting from the Senior Citizen Rental Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and the Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) have not signed up. The report shows that 61,000 households do rely on the rent subsidies, while 94,000 do not.

          • JEng

            30% is the rate? then why isnt rent regulation based on income then? that’s crazy to have a different set of logic – basically whatever is most advantageous to DHCR regulated tenants but not on NYCHA tenants.

          • Charles Dale

            Actually, the rate is more than 33.3% since the article says, “Senior citizens who reside in rent-regulated apartments and spent more than one-third of their income on rent are eligible, for example. Under SCRIE, the city would cover rent increases incurred through tax reductions to the landlords. To have a rent stabilized or rent control apartment not in any of New York City housing buildings, does not go by income. That is why there are people who are wealthy who have both. SCRIE and DRIE are based on income and if you want an apartment in any of the New York City Housing buildings, that goes based on income to.

          • Charles Dale

            Financial planners also say they you should spend no more than 30% of your income on housing. I think they are talking about your net income, not gross.

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