Today, the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit (PEU), in conjunction with the New York City Department of Finance (DOF), joined Council Member I. Daneek Miller and community members at the CW Mixon Senior Outreach Center in Queens to kick off a Month of Action.
The event focused on helping seniors and people with disabilities access City programs that help keep them in their homes and protect affordable housing.
Created by Mayor De Blasio, PEU proactively engages seniors and people with disabilities in-person and over the phone, providing individualized assistance in multiple languages to help them enroll in these programs. Specialists are enrolling New Yorkers in two DOF programs as part of the Month of Action – the NYC Tax Break for Homeowners program, for which homeowners need to apply by January 20, 2018, and the NYC Rent Freeze Program.
The NYC Tax Break for Homeowners program (which includes the Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption Program, SCHE, and the Disabled Homeowners’ Exemption, DHE), helps eligible seniors and people with disabilities, many of them living on fixed incomes, stay in their homes by providing partial property tax exemptions. Under this program, property owners earning less than $50,000 can have their property taxes reduced by up to 50%.
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The NYC Rent Freeze Program (which includes the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption Program, SCRIE, and the Disability Rent Increase Exemption, DRIE) helps eligible seniors and people with disabilities, many of them living on fixed incomes, stay in their homes by freezing their rent. Under this program, a tenant’s rent is frozen at the amount they pay when they enter into the program. The City pays the landlord the difference between the prior legal rent and subsequent rent increases through a property tax credit.
“These New York City programs are foundational to what Mayor De Blasio and this administration are fighting for – accessible and affordable housing,” said Regina Schwartz, director of the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit. “We are looking forward to reaching neighborhoods across the city during this Month of Action and helping New Yorkers learn how they can participate in these programs to remain in their homes.”
“These programs are a priority for our Agency,” said Finance Commissioner Jacques Jiha. “It is important that we alleviate some of the burden of housing costs by providing homeowner and renter benefits to as many eligible New Yorkers as possible.”
“Rent freeze is vital to so many people that getting the word out to people with disabilities is essential,” said Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Commissioner Victor Calise. “I commend PEU for teaming up with MOPD and disability rights groups to help people with disabilities stay in their homes and maintain their quality of life.”
“The savings attainable through the City’s various property tax benefit and rent freeze programs are not widely known among New Yorkers,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller, Chair of the Committee on Civil Service and Labor. “The legislation proposed by Congress that threatens to shift the bulk of the tax burden onto the shoulders of working individuals and families makes this outreach especially vital to those populations who can ill-afford to bear its cost: seniors, people living with disabilities and veterans. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio, Public Engagement Unit Director Regina Schwartz and Department of Finance Commissioner Jiha for their efforts to heighten public awareness about these resources, and help residents conserve their precious earnings so they can maintain ownership of their homes.”
Enrollment events will continue throughout the month of December and additional events for January will be announced in the future. New Yorkers can call 311 or visit HERE for more information on these programs.
Enrollment events during the Month of Action at Manhattan Borough President’s Harlem Office, 431 West 125th Street, New York, NY 10027 at 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm EST.,
Find other location throughout NYC HERE