If you have a disability and live in an eligible apartment in New York City, you may be able to freeze your rent and prevent future rent increases with the Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE).

Rent-regulated apartments are subject to increases approved by the City’s Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) and/or the State’s Division of Homes and Community Renewal. The DRIE program protects eligible tenants from having to pay most future increases.

Landlords 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.

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

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must receive one of the following:
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)
    • Disability-related Medicaid (if you have received either SSI or SSDI in the past)
    • Veterans Affairs Disability Pension
    • Veterans Affairs Compensation
    • United States Postal Service (USPS) Disability Pension
    • United States Postal Service (USPS) Disability Compensation
  • You must live in an eligible apartment type.
  • You must be named on the lease or the rent order or have been granted succession rights to the apartment.
  • The apartment must be your primary residence, meaning you live there for most of the year.
  • You must spend more than one-third of your monthly household income on rent.
  • The total combined income for all members of your household must be $50,000 or less in the prior calendar year (DRIE records all income sources, taxable, and non-taxable. You can't deduct your medical expenses and Medicare premium).
  • No one in your household is already receiving a housing benefit such as SCRIE, DRIE, or Section 8.

Eligible Apartments

  • Rent stabilized
  • Rent controlled
  • Rent regulated hotel
  • Mitchell-Lama
  • Limited Dividend
  • Redevelopment Company
  • Housing Development Fund Company (HDFC) cooperative
  • Section 213 cooperative

If you’re not sure what your apartment type is, you should contact your landlord or managing agent.

Ineligible Apartments

If you live in one of the following, you aren’t eligible for DRIE:

  • 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

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 preferential 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
  • The tenant’s current lease starts on or after 6/14/2019 and indicates a preferential rent

August 2019 Preferential Rent Freeze Policy Update

Under the new rent regulation laws passed in 2019, tenants who have a preferential rent agreement can continue to pay their preferential rent amount for the duration of their tenancy. There is an exception where the building is subject to a regulatory agreement and it receives federal rental assistance.

Changes for leases beginning on or after June 14, 2019:

  • New Rent Freeze applicants who have a preferential rent agreement and meet all program eligibility criteria can have their rent frozen at their preferential rent amount. The tax abatement credit issued to landlords will be based upon rent guidelines board increases to the preferential rent amount
  • For current Rent Freeze Program participants: If your frozen rent is based upon the legal regulated rent, the next time you renew, if you continue to meet all eligibility criteria, your rent may be re-frozen at the preferential rent amount on the lease in effect June 14, 2019

Landlords

Landlords will see that their tax abatement credits will be based upon the preferential rent amounts. The credit will be the difference between the frozen rent amount and the preferential rent amount.

Applicants

New applicants must provide a prior and current lease that clearly indicate the preferential rent amounts. If the amounts are not listed on your lease, be sure to attach your preferential rent lease riders.

If you are already participating in the program, please do not submit a request for an adjustment until it is time for you to renew. Adjustments to your frozen rent will be reviewed upon your next renewal. If your preferential rent is listed in a separate lease rider provide the rider along with your lease.

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 apply for DRIE, you must complete the DRIE Initial Application. The application is available online, by mail, or in person at a DOF Business Center.

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
DRIE Unit
59 Maiden Lane, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10038

Online

Download the DRIE Initial Application.

Download the DRIE Initial Application in: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish, 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 income and rent. These documents must be copies, not originals. The list of required documents is also provided on the DRIE application.

Proof of Income

You can prove your income by providing a copy of 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:

  • Notice of Award or SSI letter (Notice of Change in Payment letter or printout from a Social Security office)
  • SSA-1099 showing amount received from SSDI
  • 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
  • IRA earnings statements
  • 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

To receive DRIE, you have to prove that you live in an eligible apartment.

Rent-Stabilized Apartments

  • Prior and the current 1- or 2-year renewal lease signed by you and your landlord.
  • Major Capital Improvement (MCI) Order if the landlord has provided it to you.
  • If applicable, a copy of your preferential rent rider, low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC), 80-20 rider, 60-40 rider, or your Division of Housing and Community Renewal (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).

Mitchell-Lama, Limited Dividend, Redevelopment

  • Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) or DHCR Commissioner's Order
  • Rent History details for the month prior to the most recent base charge, and the rent increase to present
  • Affidavit of Household Income for prior year

Housing Development Fund Company (HDFC)

  • Notice of Rent or Carrying Charge Increase signed by HDFC Management, or
  • Renewal lease (if applicable) signed by you and your landlord

Hotel Stabilized Apartments

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

Requests for Additional Documents

After you have submitted your DRIE 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
DRIE 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.

Community-Based Organizations

Community-based organizations can help you enroll in DRIE in person or over the phone. You need to make an appointment for in-person assistance.

Some centers also offer assistance in languages other than English and American Sign Language (ASL). Call for more information.

Call 311 to learn more.

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.

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 DRIE program identifies you.

The status of your initial application could be approved, denied, under review, 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 DRIE 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
DRIE Unit
P.O. Box 3130
Union, NJ 07083

Under Review

If the status of the application is under review, your case is pending processing.

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 date depends on the type of apartment you have and when you were approved.

The Department of Finance mails a renewal application approximately 60 days before your benefit expiration date. For information about renewing your benefit, visit the Rent Freeze Program Renewal page.

Rent-Stabilized Apartment

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

Rent-Controlled Apartment

If you live in a rent-controlled apartment, your DRIE benefit expires 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.

Hotel Unit

If you live in a hotel unit, your DRIE benefit expires on the expiration date on your demand or increase notice or lease.

Mitchell Lama, Limited Dividend, Redevelopment, Section 213 Co-Op or HDFC Co-Op

If you live in a Mitchell Lama, Limited Dividend, Redevelopment, Section 213 co-op or HDFC co-op, your DRIE benefit expires one year from its effective date.

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.