What Is SCRIE?

Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption, or SCRIE, is exactly as it sounds. It is a New York City based program that allows for seniors over the age of 62, and who are struggling with rent increases in rent controlled, rent stabilized, or rent regulated hotel apartments to freeze their rent. To qualify, the senior must be the head of their household, either by being the primary tenant on the lease/rent order or by having succeeded the home from the previous owner, and must have an annual household income of $50,000 or less.

How Income is Determined

To qualify for SCRIE, the senior must pay more than one-third of the household’s monthly income. Monthly income is determined by yearly income, which includes taxable and non-taxable earnings. 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 SCRIE eligibility quiz, available here.

How One-Third of Income is Calculated

SCRIE 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 SCRIE.

Application and Renewal.

To apply, the applicant must fill out the SCRIE 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 SCRIE and for more information about other rent-freezing programs such as the Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE), visit here.

For information about the application process, watch the video below and visit here.

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