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What Is DRIE?

Disability Rent Increase Exemption, or DRIE, is a New York City based program that allows people with disabilities who are struggling with rent increases in rent controlled, rent stabilized, or rent regulated hotel apartments to freeze their rent. To qualify, the applicants must:

  • Be over the age of 18
  • “Be named on the lease or the rent order or have been granted succession rights in a rent controlled, rent stabilized, rent regulated hotel apartment or an apartment located in a building where the mortgage was federally insured under Section 213 of the National Housing Act, owned by a Mitchell-Lama Development, Limited Dividend housing company, Redevelopment Company or Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) incorporated under New York State’s Private Housing Finance Law” (Source: X)
  • Have an annual household income of $50,000 or less.
  • Spend more than one-third of their monthly household income on rent.
  • Receive one of the following:
    • Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • Federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
    • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Pension or Compensation
    • Disability-related Medicaid if the applicant has received either SSI or SSDI in the past.(X)

How Income is Determined

Monthly income is determined by yearly income, which includes taxable and non-taxable income. This does not include any money received as a gift or through inheritance. While federal, state, local and Social Security taxes are deductible when calculating income, other expenses such as medical costs, Medicare premiums, and capital or business losses are not deductible.

Income is determined by the Department of Finance through documentable proof. Non-taxable incomes can be proven by means such as Social Security, IRA/Annuity, and/or pension statements, as well as IRS Forms 1099 and/or W2. Any financial assistance received from another person must be proved by a letter submitted by the person(s) that specifies the situation and amount given.    

An easier way to see if you qualify is to complete the nyc.gov’s DRIE eligibility quiz, available here: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/rentfreeze/tools/rent-freeze-qualifier-tool.page

How One-Third of Income is Calculated

DRIE follows a formula on how they determine one-third of a person’s income. Once all tax and non-tax documentation is factored in, a household’s yearly income is determined. From there, the household’s monthly income is then established. Finally, it is then determined whether the household’s current rent exceeds one-third of their monthly income.  

For example: If a household’s annual income is $35,000, then their monthly income will be $2,916.67. One-third of their monthly income is $972.22. If their current rent is over $972.22, then they are eligible for DRIE.

Application and Renewal

To apply, the applicant must fill out the DRIE forms and send it out with copies of necessary documents to the NYC Department of Finance. The exact address is available on the application.

To find out more about DRIE and for more information about other rent-freezing programs, such as the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE), visit here.