The NYC Rent Freeze Program allows eligible seniors and people with disabilities who live in rent regulated apartments to freeze their rent and prevent most future increases.

If you are 62 or older, live in a rent regulated apartment, and pay more than one-third of your monthly income on rent, you may be eligible to participate by applying for the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE).

If you are accepted into the program, your rent will be frozen at either your prior legal rent amount or one-third of your monthly total household income, whichever is greater.

Landlords of SCRIE tenants get a property tax abatement credit (TAC) applied to their property tax bill in the same amount as the increase that the tenant is exempted from paying.

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) administers their own SCRIE program for Mitchell-Lama residents and Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) cooperative shareholders.

If you are a senior citizen and live in a Mitchell-Lama or HDFC cooperative development, and are interested in SCRIE, you must apply with HPD.

SCRIE applicants and recipients who live in Mitchell-Lama or HDFC developments can get help from HPD with:

  • Applications
  • Eligibility
  • Status of applications and benefits
  • Renewals

By Mail

NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development
SCRIE Unit
100 Gold Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10038

By Phone

Call 311 for assistance.

The Rent Freeze Program freezes rent at either the tenant's prior legal rent amount or one-third of the monthly total household income, whichever is greater.

Some landlords charge rent-regulated tenants less than the legal regulated rent amount. This is often referred to as preferential rent. 

The tenant's rent will not be frozen at the legal rent amount unless:

  • The tenant is paying an amount that's less than the legal regulated rent (preferential rent) under a written agreement with their landlord and the written agreement (rider) states that the preferential rent is what the tenant will pay for the “life of the tenancy"; or
  • The tenant lives in a Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) unit, is paying an amount less than the legal regulated rent, and submits the required LIHTC rider document

Exemptible Increases are covered and paid for by the Rent Freeze Program.

These must be approved by the appropriate State or City agency and include:

  • Lease renewal increases granted by the Rent Guidelines Board for rent-stabilized apartments
  • A rent demand renewal increase for residential hotel units
  • A maximum collectible rent increase for rent-controlled apartments
  • A Fuel Cost Adjustment to compensate a landlord for fuel increases
  • An increase due to a Major Capital Improvement (MCI) Order for building-wide renovations like a new boiler or roof (as long as that Order is issued within 90 days of the date of the tenant's initial Rent Freeze application)

Non-Exemptible Increases

Non-Exemptible Increases can’t be considered for an exemption and won't be paid for by the Rent Freeze Program.

These include:

  • A first lease in a new apartment
  • Doorman, maid or janitor, air conditioning or intercom services
  • Individual apartment improvements, additions, or adjustments, such as painting, new lighting fixtures, new equipment, furniture or other furnishings
  • Security deposits
  • Rental charges for garages and other facilities
  • Retroactive Major Capital Improvement (MCI) Orders (Orders not issued within 90 days of the initial Rent Freeze application date)
  • Utility costs such as gas, electricity, and cable

To be eligible for SCRIE, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be 62 or older.
  • You must be named on the lease or the rent order or have been granted succession rights to the apartment.
  • Your rental apartment must be registered with the State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) as rent stabilized, rent controlled, or a regulated hotel unit.
  • The apartment must be your primary residence, meaning you live there for the majority of the year.
  • The total combined income for all members of your household can't be more than $50,000 for the prior calendar year (SCRIE records all income sources, taxable, and non-taxable. Please note you cannot deduct your medical expenses).
  • You must spend more than one-third of your monthly household income on rent.
  • No one in your household is already receiving SCRIE, DRIE, Section 8, or another housing benefit.

Ineligible Apartments 

If you live in one of the following, you are not eligible for SCRIE:

  • Public housing units administered by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
  • Non-rent-regulated apartments, such as those in private homes and private co-op buildings that are not subject to rent regulation
  • Section 8 or Section 202 Housing
  • Sublet apartments, even if they are rent regulated

Rent-Controlled Apartments

For rent-controlled apartments, your rent increase must be authorized as "exemptible" before it may be paid by SCRIE on your behalf. If there is a rent increase during the same lease period, SCRIE will recalculate your portion of the rent so that the increase may be exempt in the future.

To apply for SCRIE, you must complete the SCRIE Initial Application. Make sure to include all the required information and documents before you submit your application package or processing will be delayed.

Mail to:

NYC Department of Finance
SCRIE Unit
59 Maiden Lane, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10038

You can get the application online, by mail, or in person at a DOF Business Center.

Online

Download the SCRIE Initial Application.

Download the SCRIE Initial Application in: ArabicBengaliChineseFrenchHaitian CreoleKoreanPolishRussianSpanish, or Urdu.

By Mail

Call 311 to request a paper copy.

In Person

Manhattan Walk-In Center
66 John Street, 3rd Floor (between Dutch and William Streets)
Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Staten Island Walk-In Center
350 St. Marks Place, 4th Floor (between Hyatt and Bay Streets)
Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Bronx DOF Business Center
3030 Third Avenue, 2nd Floor (between East 155 and East 156 Streets)
Bronx, NY 10455
Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Learn more about the Bronx Business Center.

Brooklyn DOF Business Center
210 Joralemon Street (between Court and Adams Streets)
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Learn more about the Brooklyn Business Center.

Queens DOF Business Center
144-06 94th Avenue (between Liverpool Street and Sutphin Boulevard)
Jamaica, NY 11435
Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Learn more about the Queens Business Center.

Your application must include copies of proof of age, income, and rent. These documents must be copies, not originals. The list of required documents is also provided on the SCRIE application.

Proof of Age

You can prove your age by providing a copy of your:

  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Driver license
  • Non-driver ID
  • Another federal, state, or city document with your date of birth on it

Proof of Income

You can prove your income by providing a copy your tax returns and attached schedules from the last calendar year.

If you’re not required to file taxes, use any documentation that shows how you and your family members receive income, such as:

  • Social Security statements
  • Pension statements
  • IRA earnings statements
  • Veterans Affairs Disability Compensation or Disability Pension benefit statements
  • USPS Disability Compensation or Disability Pension benefit statements
  • Current budget letter from the Human Resources Administration
  • W-2 and 1099 statements for all household members
  • Workman's Compensation Notice of Decision

If you receive cash gifts from family or friends to supplement your income, the person who gives you the money must write a letter detailing how often and how much you were paid in the last calendar year.

Proof of Rent

You have to provide documents proving that you live in an eligible apartment.

Rent-Stabilized Apartments

  • Prior and the current lease, signed by both the tenant and landlord
  • Major Capital Improvement (MCI) Order if the landlord has provided it to you
  • If applicable, submit a copy of your preferential rent rider, low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC), 80/20 rider, 60/40 rider, or your DHCR Rent history

Rent-Controlled Apartments

  • Prior and current year Notice of Maximum Collectible Rent (Form RN-26)
  • Prior and current year owner's report and Certification of Fuel Cost Adjustment (Form R33.10)
  • Major Capital Improvement (MCI) Order if the landlord has provided it to you

Hotel Stabilized Apartments

  • The DHCR annual apartment registration for the prior and the current year
  • The signed rent increase letter from the management or owner, OR
  • Your DHCR rent history.

Requests for Additional Documents

After you have submitted your SCRIE initial application, you may be mailed a Pending Notice with a request for additional documentation. If you received a request, mail your documents along with a copy of the Pending Notice to:

NYC Department of Finance
SCRIE Unit
P.O. Box 3130
Union, NJ 07083

You can get help completing a Rent Freeze application. Make sure to gather the required documents before meeting with or contacting an assistor.

If you need more time to submit an application or document or meet any other Rent Freeze program deadline because of a disability or physical or mental impairment, you may be eligible for an extension of time as a reasonable accommodation for such disability. 

To learn more, visit the Rent Freeze Program Assistance page.

In Person

SCRIE and DRIE Walk-In Centers

Manhattan Walk-In Center
66 John Street, 3rd Floor (between Dutch and William Streets)
Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Staten Island Walk-In Center
350 St. Marks Place, 4th Floor (between Hyatt and Bay Streets)
Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Enrollment Events

You can apply for or renew the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) or Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) at a public outreach enrollment event. Department of Finance (DOF) staff will work with you one-on-one to help you complete an initial or renewal application. No appointment is necessary.

For a list of enrollment events, visit the Department of Finance Public Events page.

Senior Centers

Mobile seniors can get help completing SCRIE applications from local senior centers that offer case assistance. Call the senior center to make an appointment.

Use Site Finder to search for a Senior Center.

Community-Based Organizations

Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) that offer case management assistance to seniors can help homebound seniors with SCRIE applications if they can’t go to a center or outreach event or don’t have anyone who can come to their home to help them.

Use Site Finder to search for a Senior CBO. Call before visiting. Depending on your address and situation, you may be advised to go to a different location.

Online

The Rent Freeze Program website has answers to frequently asked questions, eligibility information, guides, and other resources online. You can also use their online contact form if you have any questions.

Visit the Rent Freeze Program website.

Contact the Rent Freeze Program.

By Phone

You can get help with completing your SCRIE Initial Application over the phone with the New York Benefit Center, a nonprofit that helps people sign up for government benefits.

The Benefit Center can also screen you for eligibility.

The Benefit Center does not:

  • Mail SCRIE Initial Applications
  • Provide assistance after the application has been submitted
  • Help current SCRIE tenants
  • Help with renewals or renewal applications
  • Provide the status of applications or benefits

After the application has been submitted, the Benefit Center can't help you if you have issues or questions about the application or your benefits. If you need help or have questions about SCRIE after you apply, you can get assistance from 311, visit a SCRIE and DRIE Walk-in Center, or contact the Department of Finance online.

Call 311 for assistance by phone.

After completing the initial application with you over the phone, the Benefit Center will mail it to you along with a pre-paid envelope and a letter telling you which documents you have to provide. You will then need to mail the signed application and requested documents back to the Benefit Center in the pre-paid envelope.

Mail the application to:

New York Benefit Center
217 Centre Street
P.O. Box 166
New York, NY 10013

It may take up to 4 weeks from the mailing date for the application to be processed and its status to become available.

The Department of Finance (DOF) will review your application to determine your eligibility. Within 45 days, they will mail you a notice with the status of your application. The notice will indicate your docket number, which is how the SCRIE program identifies you.

The status of your initial application could be approved, denied, or pending for additional information or documentation.

Approved Applications

If all necessary information has been received and your application has been processed, DOF calculates your frozen rent amount and the exemption amount, also known as the Tax Abatement Credit (TAC), for your landlord. The frozen rent amount is the amount you’re responsible for paying.

The Approval Order includes:

  • The frozen rent amount
  • The amount your landlord will be credited
  • The exemption period and benefit end date

An Owner Approval Order with this same information will be sent to your landlord.

Until you receive your Approval Order, you’re required to pay the full rent amount.

After you receive it, your landlord must adjust the rent amount, including any retroactive adjustments. Once approved, the SCRIE benefit frozen rent starts on the first of the month following the date DOF received your application. If you paid more than the frozen amount during the time your application was being approved, your landlord is required to credit you for this overpayment. It is up to your landlord how to reimburse you.

Pending Applications

If there’s anything missing in your application, you'll be mailed a Pending Notice which will list the additional information or documentation required.

Note that the mailing address for submitting additional requested documents is different than the one you mailed your initial application to.

Mail the Pending Notice along with the documentation requested to:

NYC Department of Finance
SCRIE Unit
P.O. Box 3130
Union, NJ 07083

Denied Applications

If you do not qualify for the exemption, DOF will send you a denial letter. You can appeal the denial. To learn more, go to the Rent Freeze Program Assistance page.

DOF updates SCRIE and DRIE tenant status reports on its website every week.

The report includes application status and information for current Rent Freeze Program participants and those active within the past year. It is organized by borough and docket number.

If you recently mailed an application, it may take up to 4 weeks from the mailing date for the application to be processed and for the status to be available.

Check your SCRIE status.

Check your DRIE status.

Call 311 if you need more help.

Your benefit end date is on your approval letter. The end date depends on the type of apartment you have and when you were approved. The Department of Finance mails a renewal application about 60 days before your expiration date.

If you live in a rent-stabilized apartment, your SCRIE benefits expire when your lease does. If you have a 1-year lease, your SCRIE benefits expire after the year; if you have a 2-year lease, they expire after the second year.

If you live in a rent-controlled apartment, your SCRIE benefits expire on December 31st of every odd year, for example, December 31, 2017; December 31, 2019; and so on. DOF will mail you the renewal application in November.

If you live in a hotel unit, your SCRIE benefits expire on the expiration date on your demand or increase notice or lease.

For information about renewing your benefit, visit the Rent Freeze Program Renewal page.

The NYC Rent Freeze Program Guide contains information on eligibility, first-time applications, benefit renewal, and other program-related topics.

Online

Download the Rent Freeze Guide.

By Mail

Call 311 to request a paper copy.