A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 04, 2005
SCRIE (pronounced “scree") and SCHE (pronounced “she"); DRIE
SCRIE (pronounced "scree") is the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption program.

SCHE (pronounced "she") is the Senior Citizen Homeowners' Exemption program.

DRIE is the Disabled Rent Increase Exemption program that was passed in 2005.

Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption Program (SCRIE)

Through the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption Program (SCRIE) people 62-years or older with yearly incomes below $24,000 may be eligible for exemption from all or some increases in rents, carrying charges, capital assessment or voluntary capital contributions. Depending on the type of housing in which you live, you may be eligible for assistance:

Senior citizens who live in Mitchell-Lama and Redevelopment Company developments, Article XI co-ops established under the Private Financing Housing Law, and Federally-assisted co-ops can call (212) 863-8494 for information.

Senior citizens who live in rent-regulated apartments should call the City's Department for the Aging at (212) 442-1000 for information about SCRIE.

Senior citizens who own homes, condominiums or private non-governmentally supervised co-ops may be eligible for the Senior Citizen Homeowner Exemption Program. For questions regarding this program, please visit the the New York City Department of Finance.

Senior citizens who lease apartments that are not rent regulated are not eligible for SCRIE benefits.

Senior Citizen Homeowners' Exemption (SCHE)

SCHE provides a partial exemption of the assessed value of a legal residence that is occupied by a senior citizen who has a limited income.


Age -- Applicants must be age 65 or over by December 31st of the year in which the SCHE benefits would begin. If a husband/wife or siblings own the property, only one needs to meet this age requirement to qualify. If co-owners other than spouses or siblings own the property, all must be 65 or over.

Primary Residence -- The applicant must use all or part of the property as his/her primary residence.

Income -- The total adjusted gross income of all the owners of the property from all sources must be less than $32,400, which is the 2004 cap set by New York State (reset annually).

Property Ownership -- The owners must have held title to the property for at last 12 consecutive months before March 15th of the year when the SCHE benefits begin.

Properties with Other Exemptions

If the property has the Clergy, Veterans, or STAR exemption, it is still eligible for SCHE. It is not eligible for SCHE, however, if it has the Disabled Homeowners' Exemption (DHE) or a 421a, 421b, or 421g exemption, unless an official waiver of these exemptions is submitted with the SCHE application.

Mitchell-Lama and other Subsidized Housing -- Cooperative shareholders living in Mitchell-Lamas, Redevelopment housing, Housing Development Fund Companies, and other subsidized housing are only eligible for this exemption if their family income is $24,000 or more. Families in this type of housing whose income is below $24,000 are only eligible for benefits under the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Program (SCRIE).


Applicants must submit a completed SCHE application, signed by all owners of the property, a completed SCHE Income Statement, copies of the following:

Proof of age — Acceptable proof of age includes birth certificate, baptismal records, passport, hospital records, driver's license, or other official record showing birth date);
Death certificate (if any owner is deceased);
Exceptions to 12-Month Ownership Requirement Form — Only if owners have not owned property for 12 months prior to SCHE application;
Trusts/Life Estates — If any trust agreements or life estates affect ownership of the property.

28 November 1982, New York Times, "Rent Exemptions for the Elderly" by Dee Wedemeyer, pg. RE8:
LEE BRANDT, who is 83 years old, is the owner of building in which half of the tenants are exempt from rent increases because they qualify for SCRIE, the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption program.

Under the program, people in rent-controlled or rent-stabilized buildings who are 62 years old or older and have limited incomes are exempted from the annual increases they normally would pay and their landlords are compensated with credits against their real-estate taxes.
According to Robert Muniz, Assistant Commissioner of Rent Control in the Office of Rent and Housing Maintenance, 50,000 households in rent control and 20,000 in rent stabilization have rent increase exemptions under the SCRIE program.

19 April 1987, New York Times, "Wider Rent Program for the Aged Urged" by Lisa W. Foderaro, pg. R7:
But to many elderly people living in rent-regulated apartments, the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption Program, commonly known by the acronym Scrie, has spelled security and peace of mind.
Begun in 1970, the program eases the burden of rent increases for eligible elderly tenants and has enabled tens of thousands of people living on fixed incomes to remain in their apartments. About 54,000 tenants from the five boroughs participated in 1985 - the most recent year of record- receiving an average monthly examption of about $70. The city picked up the estimated $43 million tab by waiving the equivalent tax liability of their landlords.

21 January 1996, New York Times, "New Help on Taxes for Elderly" by Jay Romano, section 9 real estate:
On Jan. 12, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani signed two bills passed by the City Council in December. One broadens the reach of the Senior Citizens Homeowners Exemption program (SCHE), which provides partial property-tax abatements to elderly homeowners. The change permits resident shareholders in New York City co-ops to participate in the program and increases the maximum income level that otherwise limits participation.

The second bill significantly increases the number of elderly residents eligible for the Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption Program (Scrie), which exempts rent-regulated, and certain other tenants, over 62 years of age from rent increases.
The Senior Citizen Homeowners Exemption Program, Ms. Harrison said, provides partial exemptions from New York City property taxes to property owners 65 and older who meet certain income requirements. The property tax exemptions range from 5 to 50 percent, depending on the owner-occupant's annual household income. Those whose income is $17,500 or less, for example, are eligible for a 50 percent property-tax exemption and those with incomes from $21,400 and $22,300 are eligible for a 25 percent exemption.

The amendments enacted earlier this month, however, increase the maximum allowable income to $25,900, which results in an exemption of 5 percent and decreases the length of time the applicant must own the property from two years to one year.
''I hope to spread the word about both Scrie and SCHE,'' he (City Council Speaker Peter Vallone) said. ''Both programs are geared to help seniors who have earned a well-deserved break.''

19 November 2000, New York Times, "Windfalls in Tax and Water Bills" by Jay Romano, section 11 real estate, pg. 5:
Another area in which property owners may lose money without being aware of it involves tax credits due under the Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption Program -- commonly referred to as Scrie (pronounced scree). Under that program, Mr. Strauss said, elderly residents who meet certain age and income requirements (generally, those who are 62 or older and have yearly household incomes of less than $20,000) are exempt from rent increases. Any increases that the property owner would be entitled to, he said, are instead paid by the city in the form of property tax credits.

29 December 2002, New York Times, "Benefits for Older Resident" by Jay Romano, section 11 real estate, pg. 5:
To be eligible for the Scrie program, the head of the household must be 62 or older. The total household income cannot exceed $20,000 (after deducting income taxes, payroll taxes and court-ordered support payments) and the rent must be at least one-third of the net monthly income. For tenants in rent-stabilized apartments, Ms. Angelopoulos said, the tenant must have a valid one- or two-year lease.

When a tenant qualifies for Scrie, any exemptable rent increases the landlord would be entitled to are given in the form of abatements on real estate taxes. If the landlord, for example, is entitled to a $50 a month rent increase, his real estate tax bill for the building will be reduced by an equivalent amount.

Another program earmarked for elderly residents, Ms. Angelopoulos said, is the Senior Citizen Homeowners Exemption program. The program, commonly referred to as SCHE (pronounced ''she''), provides a tax exemption of up to 50 percent for qualified property owners. To be eligible, the homeowner must be 65 or older and must have owned the property for at least one year. If the property is co-owned by spouses, only one has to be over 65. If someone other than a spouse is a co-owner, all owners must be older than 65. The property must be the applicant's legal residence, must be used exclusively for residential purposes and may have no more than three dwelling units. Finally, the total annual household income for the last calendar year cannot exceed $28,900.

Their wait is over
Disabled tenants win rent-increase breaks

After years of failed efforts, thousands of disabled tenants of rent-regulated housing finally have won their own rent-increase exemption program.

The City Council passed a bill last week setting up a program for disabled tenants that is modeled on the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE), which currently provides rent-increase exemptions to more than 45,000 senior households.

"It took 25 years to get it approved," said Michael McKee, the associate director of Tenants & Neighbors, a tenant advocacy group. "I'm delighted about it."

Council Speaker Gifford Miller (D-Manhattan) said the new program for the disabled - called Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) - will "allow New Yorkers with special needs to remain in their homes, rather than be forced into nursing homes or shelters."

Council officials estimate up to 20,840 disabled renters - of rent-controlled, rent-stabilized and other rent-regulated housing - would be eligible for rent-increase exemptions.

Landlords will be compensated for their lost rent increases through property tax abatements or refunds.
DRIE benefits will be limited to disabled persons receiving Social Security disability insurance, supplemental security insurance, or veteran disability pensions or compensation. And to qualify, the annual income for a disabled individual living alone can't exceed $17,004. For a couple, the maximum household income will be $24,372.
Originally published on August 1, 2005

Posted by Barry Popik
Buildings/Housing/Parks • (1) Comments • Saturday, June 04, 2005 • Permalink