Assemblyman Cymbrowitz Launches Rent-Freeze Enrollment Initiative in District Office

May 3, 2018

Noting the importance of helping fixed-income seniors and people with disabilities to stay in their apartments and communities, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) is hosting designated SCRIE/DRIE enrollment days in his Sheepshead Bay district office through the end of June for those who qualify but aren’t yet enrolled in the city’s rent-freeze programs.

“When I became Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee early in 2017, helping people to remain in affordable housing became one of my most urgent priorities,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said. “Housing is fundamental to our daily lives, and no one should be forced to leave the place they’ve called home because they’re retired and on a limited fixed income or they’re unable to work due to a disability.”

“Housing is fundamental to our daily lives, and every person deserves an equal opportunity to have safe, quality and affordable housing,” the lawmaker said.

The SCRIE/DRIE enrollment initiative, launched in conjunction with the city’s Human Resources Administration (HRA), will take place on May 8th, May 22nd, June 5th and June 19th (all Wednesdays) from 10:30 am to 1 pm at Assemblyman Cymbrowitz’ office, 1800 Sheepshead Bay Road. HRA representatives will provide individualized enrollment assistance and fill out the applications on site.

For both the SCRIE (Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption) and DRIE (Disability Rent Increase Exemption) programs, the primary requirements are:

* Total household income, less allowable deductions, must be $50,000 or less;

* Allowable deductions are Federal, State, Local, Medicare, and Social Security taxes paid.

* Must live in a rent-controlled, rent-regulated, or rent-stabilized apartment (not private, NYCHA or Section 8 housing);

* Must spend more than one-third of monthly income on rent;

* For DRIE, the primary applicant must receive a federal disability benefit (e.g. SSI, SS Disability, VA Disability Pension/Benefits);

* For SCRIE, the person named on the lease must be at least 62 years old.

No appointments are needed for the enrollment days, but all applicants must bring proof of income for all household members for 2017, current lease and prior lease, ID showing that the person named on the lease is over 62 (for SCRIE) or proof of disability, such as Social Security Disability award letter (for DRIE).

Residents can find a handy rent-freeze eligibility tool at http://www1.nyc.gov/site/rentfreeze/tools/rent-freeze-qualifier-tool.page.

Back in 2016, as Chair of the Assembly’s Aging Committee, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz introduced legislation – signed by Governor Cuomo – to allow SCRIE/DRIE enrollees who have experienced a non-recurring spike in income to reapply and receive their previous benefit, rather than apply as a new applicant at their higher rent, and in 2014 supported raising the maximum income for the rent freeze program to $50,000.

Anyone with questions may call Assemblyman Cymbrowitz’ office at (718) 743-4078.