SCRIE program good, but doesn't go far enough
Oct 04, 2016 | 4658 views | 0 0 comments | 454 454 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Across the city this week, the Department of Finance and local elected officials are promoting rent freeze programs for senior citizens and New Yorkers with disabilities. The programs are excellent and a great benefit to those who take advantage, but right now they don't go far enough.

There's a serious affordability crisis in this city, and it's increasingly hitting more and more seniors the hardest. Rising rents are forcing them out of longtime homes.

The Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption is a fine lifeline – and may mean the difference between a hot meal for a senior or being able to afford a roof over their head – but the $50,000 threshold is far too low.

In many neighborhoods across New York City, a single person making $60,000 cannot afford to live on their own without roommates.

Further, the exemption only benefits the already lucky individuals who happen to live in rent-stabilized apartments. So if you're stuck with a landlord trying to raise the rents rapidly, there's essentially nothing you can do to stop it.

Getting a rent-stabilized apartment is easier said than done in New York City, and a lot of times there are a whole host of issues with unscrupulous landlords trying to force residents out of their stabilized apartments or trying to illegally raise rents.

New York City needs to not only increase awareness of the programs, but actually work with senior citizen communities to help them find rent-stabilized housing. A rent freeze is great, but doesn't help if you don't have an apartment.

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