Housing Benefits

For information on Homeowner Tax Exemptions, please click here.

Rent Freeze

There are housing benefits available in NYC to help older NYC tenants and tenants with disabilities save money and live securely in their homes. The NYC Public Engagement Unit (PEU) provides free, one-on-one assistance to New Yorkers looking to enroll in these money-saving programs. Read one New Yorker's story about freezing her rent.

SCRIE and DRIE are two rent freeze programs available specifically for New Yorkers over 62 and New Yorkers with disabilities to stop their rent from increasing, learn more about them below.

Call the Rent Freeze Hotline at 929-252-7242 to speak with a PEU Rent Freeze Specialist about freezing your rent.

An older man sits with two  P E U staffers, with rent freeze flyers in front of them on the table

SCRIE and DRIE are two rent freeze programs available specifically for New Yorkers over 62 and New Yorkers with disabilities to freeze their rent at the current amount listed on their lease.

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Who Qualifies for Rent Freeze?

Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE)

To qualify for SCRIE, New Yorkers must meet the following requirements:

  • Be 62 years old or older.
  • Have a household income of $50,000 or less.
  • Be living in a rent regulated, rent stabilized, rent controlled unit, or single room occupancy (SRO) and be listed on the lease or rent order.
  • Be spending more than one third of their income on rent.

Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE)

To qualify for DRIE, New Yorkers must meet the following requirements:

  • Be 18 years old or older.
  • Have a household income of $50,000 or less.
  • Be living in a rent regulated, rent stabilized, rent controlled unit, or single room occupancy (SRO) and be listed on the lease or rent order.
  • Be spending more than one third of their income on rent.
  • Receive one of the following benefits: Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI); Federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI); S. Department of Veterans Affairs disability pension or compensation; United States Postal Services (USPS) disability pension or compensation; or Disability-related Medicaid if the applicant has received either SSI or SSDI in the past.

Rent Freeze in the Field

Outreach and Partnerships with Communities

The owner of a building in the Bronx passed away two years ago and the building's ownership is currently being debated in surrogate court. Given the uncertainty, tenants were concerned that utilities would be shut off and they would lose their SCRIE/DRIE benefits without new leases. PEU heard about the issue from community members and Tenant Support Specialists Hakim, Maria, Jose and Mike canvassed the building to speak with tenants directly. PEU's Tenant Support Unit then coordinated a meeting with the New York State Division of Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the Public Advocate's office, and the Mayor's Community Affairs Unit (CAU) to discuss next steps. Now, the Team is ensuring that essential services are not cut off in the building, repairs are made, and leases are obtained for those without them. The team also worked with HCR to help tenants obtain their rent registration histories (in order to have a record of their last registered rent), connect with legal service providers, and submit SCRIE/DRIE applications and renewals.The main step was to keep the lights on in the common areas and not have any other essential services cut off. We are still working on getting leases for those who did not have one, repairs done, and providing rental arrears assistance. This will be an ongoing building-wide process, given that the case is still in surrogate court.

A P E U Specialist sits at a table and speaks with people who have stopped by for resources

Helping with Rent Freeze

PEU Specialist Hakim called a client who could not renew his rent freeze benefit because his landlord failed to provide a renewal lease. Thankfully, Hakim knew that when landlords fail to provide tenants with a lease, clients can still keep their rent freeze benefit by submitting a "SCRIE Certification of No Renewal Lease" form. Hakim was able to renew the client's rent freeze application by substituting the missing document with the applicant's ConEd bill as proof of address. Thanks to Hakim's efforts, the client's SCRIE benefit was renewed six weeks later.

A P E U Specialist leans over a table and talks to older adults

Homeowner Tax Exemptions

There are housing benefits available in NYC to help older New Yorkers and New Yorkers with disabilities save money and live securely in their homes. The NYC Public Engagement Unit (PEU) provides free, one-on-one assistance to NYC homeowners looking to enroll in these money-saving programs.

Call the Rent Freeze Hotline at 929-252-7242 to speak with a PEU Specialist about applying for homeowner tax exemptions.

T S U Specialists stand on the sidewalk, posing with flyers about  property tax breaks

SCHE and DHE are two homeowner tax exemption programs specifically for New Yorkers over 65 and New Yorkers with disabilities to help reduce their homeowner taxes.

Who Qualifies for Homeowner Tax Exemptions?

Qualifying for Senior Citizen Homeowner Exemption (SCHE)

To qualify for SCHE, New Yorkers must meet the following requirements:

  • All owners of the property must be 65 years of age or older by the end of the year, unless the owners are spouses or siblings.
  • The combined annual income of the property owner and spouse or co-owner cannot exceed $58,399.
  • All owners must occupy the property as their primary residence. The applicant's name should be on the deed.
  • The client must have owned the property for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the date of exemption, unless they received the exemption on their previously-owned residence.

Qualifying for Disabled Homeowners Exemption (DHE)

To qualify for DHE, New Yorkers must meet the following requirements:

  • The combined annual income of the property owner and spouse or co-owner cannot exceed $58,399.
  • All owners must be persons with disabilities, unless the home is owned by spouses or siblings, in which case only one homeowner must have a disability.
  • All owners must occupy the property as their primary residence. The applicant's name should be on the deed.
  • Proof of disability: The homeowner will need to submit documentation of a disability.