District Office hosting bi-weekly Tenant Support Unit office hours to help eligible tenants living in rent-regulated units enroll in SCRIE/DRIE
NEW YORK – Today, Council Member Margaret S. Chin joined senior advocates from the Chinese American Planning Council and LiveOn NY, as well as representatives from the NYC Department of Finance and the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit, to encourage more seniors and disabled New Yorkers in rent-regulated apartments to take advantage of the NYC Rent FreezeProgram. This summer, City outreach specialists have been door-knocking in targeted neighborhoods to increase SCRIE/DRIE enrollment. Additionally, two rent freeze specialists, fluent in English, Chinese and Spanish, are being stationed at Council Member Chin’s District Office on Park Row twice a month to guide tenants through the application process.
“After fighting to pass legislation to expand SCRIE/DRIE to more seniors and disabled New Yorkers, I am glad that the City is taking the right steps to ensure that every eligible tenant takes advantage of these life-changing programs,” said Council Member Chin. “Thanks to the Mayor’s support, I am proud to host bilingual rent freeze specialists who can demystify the application process for all eligible tenants and help them gather the necessary documentation to qualify. With the cost of almost everything on the rise, programs like these are a critical part of our efforts to keep New Yorkers in the communities, and the homes, that they have built.”
Council Member Chin has been a fierce advocate for expanding the SCRIE and DRIE programs, passing legislation in 2014 that raises the maximum level of income eligibility from $29,000 to $50,000 and introducing legislation that would force landlords to notify eligible tenants and help increase enrollment in Rent Freeze programs.
“We hope that our outreach efforts in this community will encourage renters to inquire about and enroll in the New York City Rent Freeze program,” said Finance Commissioner Jacques Jiha. “This is an important benefit that can significantly help seniors and people with disabilities reduce their monthly expenses by freezing their rents, protecting them from yearly increases. Our goal is to register as many eligible seniors and people with disabilities as possible.”
“As the cost of living continues to rise, it is a priority of the City to help seniors and people with disabilities stay in their homes,” said Regina Schwartz, Director of the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit. “We are proud to partner with Council Member Chin to ensure seniors and people with disabilities in her district receive these services. The Public Engagement Unit is committed to proactively reaching out to New Yorkers to increase enrollment and educate communities about the NYC Rent Freeze Programs by knocking on doors, making phone calls and sharing information at community events. We will be at Council Member Chin’s district office every other Wednesday from 10:30am-1:30pm to make sure that we reach the many eligible New Yorkers living in this community.”
“The Senior Rent Freeze Program remains an integral way of helping older New Yorkers afford housing and a key tool to preserving affordable units in New York City,” said Allison Nickerson, Executive Director of LiveOn NY. “We applaud the leadership of Council Member Margaret S. Chin as well as Mayor Bill de Blasio for working hard to ensure that everyone who is eligible knows about the program and how to apply. And for those older people currently enrolled in the Rent Freeze Program yet continuing to experience extreme rent burden, we will continue to work with the City for solutions. With over 200,000 older people on wait lists for affordable senior housing, for an average of 7 years, we look forward to continued partnership and advocacy of Council Member Chin so that together we can help make New York a better place to age.”
“The NYC Rent Freeze Program has a significant impact on the lives of New Yorkers, especially the low income and immigrant populations CPC work with,” said Wayne Ho, CEO and President of the Chinese American Planning Council. “The expansion allows seniors and disabled New Yorkers who enroll in SCRIE/DRIE to have one less thing to worry about as they take care of themselves and their families. We thank Council Member Chin for her leadership in SCRIE and DRIE program expansions
Rent Freeze specialists will be at Council Member Chin’s office today and on July 26, Aug. 9, Aug. 23 and Sept. 6 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Residents who would like to make an appointment should call Chin’s District Office at (212) 587-3159.