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

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