The Real Deal New York

Big expansion of senior rent freeze in the works

Bill hiking income cap to $50K a year seen passing; would add 24,000 residents to program
April 11, 2014 09:30AM

A bill that would increase the number of New York City seniors eligible for a rent freeze has secured approval in Albany and is expected to do the same with Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Introduced by City Council member Margaret Chin, the legislation would extend the parameters of the long-running Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption Program, commonly known as SCRIE, which halts rent hikes for residents aged 62 or older in regulated units. Under the current rules, seniors can qualify for the program if their annual income is less than $29,000 and they pay a third of their income or more for rent. The new law would raise the earnings cap to $50,000.

“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,” Chin told Crain’s.

The program is administered by the city Department of Finance and extends a property tax break to landlords to make up for the reduced rent. But the program has fallen behind the pace of the city’s rising living costs in recent years, with the state lifting the income threshold only twice over the last ten years, Chin’s office told Crain’s. The measure would be the most dramatic increase ever instituted, and would be further supported by additional funding from Albany. [Crain’s]Julie Strickland

  • Sh!t My Tenants Say

    This might be OK if there were not succession rights. These directly contradict each other!!!
    There also needs to be a mechanism in place to ensure that benefits stop when tenant dies. You think people are rushing to remove the rent freeze? They are usually too busy trying to stake a claim to the apartment of their own.
    Also, the age needs to be adjusted to modern times, where the average life expectancy will be for 20 years after a freeze kicks in…

  • JoeyWall

    Great way to buy 26,000 voters…

    Market-rate tenants for housing policy and zoning reform:

  • what has she been reading?

    Senior Citizens make 50k a year? A lot of people don’t make 50k a year. How much does Margaret Chin make!??

    A lot of building owners don’t make 50k a year, does that mean we can get a property tax freeze?

    It’s only fair, right?

    This rent freeze sounds like it is being given to rich people compared to SPONYs who are not rich but it is framed in such a way as to sound both pro-poor and bizarrely, confer some kind of noble heritage with being a rent regulated tenant SUFFERING at the hands of evil slumlords while carving out a community that saves humanity and fights for justice and the American way. Conversely, ignoble tenants would be ineligible for a rent freeze, correct?

    I don’t think a lot of tenants help build their neighborhoods at all. Where did THAT come from?

    • nguhh?

      I mean I see this thrown out like it’s a macro in everyone’s word processing software:

      “In order to get them to move out, many landlords have resorted to
      harassment and abuse. This includes shutting off their heat or hot water
      or refusing to make any necessary repairs”

      but I’ve never read of any cases cited except for Joel Israel’s recent bizarre behavior.

      But this stereotype has been thrown out so much that it is now taken at face value. What about the owners who don’t raise the rent or who haven’t kicked people out?

      Is this the beginning of an additional nuance to the rent regulated tenant as human rights abuse victim in that now they are founding fathers of their community???

  • SocialismRules

    This city is a joke. NYC will get all the misery it deserves from these policies.

  • cynic

    “…and would be further supported by additional funding from Albany.”
    How generous of Albany to provide its own money to support this entitlement.