Councilwoman Wants More Rent-Regulation Programs in SCRIE

City Councilwoman Margaret Chin (D-Manhattan) plans to introduce a resolution urging the state to bring a larger swath of the city's elderly into the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption, or SCRIE, program, which offers landlords a property tax abatement in exchange for freezing the rents of qualifying tenants.

A bill passed in April upped the maximum income requirements for the program to $50,000 from $29,000, which was great news for the estimated 24,000 additional seniors who qualified for a freeze. But other elderly tenants in developments such as Gateway Plaza in Battery Park City, or the former Mitchell-Lama development Independence Plaza North in TriBeCa, were shocked to find out they did not.

The problem was that these seniors met requirements for the program, including spending more than a third of their income on rent, but their apartments were not rent regulated through one of the major state programs specifically mentioned in the current legislation.

Ms. Chin hopes that her resolution will be taken up by the state legislature, which first passed this spring's increase in Albany before it was passed at the city level in April, and that seniors in apartments under more obscure rent-regulation programs will be brought into the fold.