Tanya Hobson-Williams Urges New York City Council to Impose Rent Freeze for More Senior Citizen Tenants

April 24, 2014

Attorney Tanya Hobson-Williams of Hobson-Williams, P.C. is asking the New York City Council to pass a bill that would raise the income threshold for senior citizen tenants living in rent-regulated apartments. She says that, under this bill, more seniors would be protected from rent hikes and be able to stay where they are currently living.

On April 10, City Councilwoman Margaret Chin introduced a bill that would update the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) Program. Currently, seniors over the age of 62 with an annual income of less than $29,000 who use one-third of their income to pay rent are eligible for a rent freeze. Under Councilwoman Chin’s legislation, the income cap would almost double to $50,000 a year.

According to Councilwoman Chin’s office, the proposed bill would grant rent freezes to an additional 24,000 seniors in the city. Although the income threshold has been raised only twice in the past 10 years, it has never kept up with the cost of living, her office said. Last year, the New York City Rent Guidelines Board announced a 4% rent hike on those residing in rent-regulated apartments.

“This bill would allow more senior citizens to stay in their apartments and not be kicked out because they cannot afford to pay the rent,” Ms. Hobson-Williams said. “The SCRIE Program would prevent landlords from forcing out senior tenants just so they can make more money on the property. I urge the City Council to approve Councilwoman Chin’s bill and Mayor de Blasio to sign it into law.”

For more information, call 1 (866) 825-1529 or visit www.thobsonwilliamslaw.com.