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By Corey Johnson

A contributor to WestView in his seventies offered he could not live in the West Village if it were not for his rent-controlled apartment—but even so, he was still having trouble making ends meet on a fixed-income.

For decades the City and State have been passing laws and creating regulations to keep people in their apartments when they cannot afford market rents.

Here Council Member Corey Johnson alerts us to one such program.

If you have questions, address them to Corey via WestView. We will print the best questions and of course the answers in the next edition.

Send your questions to gcapis@gmail.com —George Capsis

“It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln once said this—and I could not agree more! I think of this whenever I’m spending time with our district’s amazing seniors.

Unfortunately, many of our seniors have trouble making ends meet. Rising rents—even for those in rent-regulated apartments—are a big problem for people on fixed incomes. Luckily, New York City offers a number of programs to help our seniors. One of the most impactful is the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE), a program established in 1970 by the New York City Council. This program allows certain low-income seniors in affordable housing to freeze their rent. It is available to New Yorkers who are 62 or older, live in a rent-regulated apartment, make under $50,000 and pay more than 30% of their household income in rent. In 2005 the program expanded to include individuals with disabilities, and that is called the Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE).

Unfortunately, many tenants aren’t aware of SCRIE or DRIE. Oftentimes, they find out about it long after they are eligible. Sometimes they’re not informed about it at all. Therefore, it is vitally important that we help spread the word and let people know about this program.

I have been working closely with the NYC Department of Finance to inform my constituents about SCRIE and DRIE, and soon my office plans to hold an information session on these programs. If you think you or someone you know could benefit from these programs, I encourage you to call 311, New York City’s central information number, and ask that information be sent to you. You can also find information on my web site at www.coreyjohnson.nyc/resources-for-seniors.

We have a responsibility as New Yorkers to care for one another, and that is exactly what we must do.

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