The Rent Freeze Program (SCRIE and DRIE) and COVID-19


Frequently Asked Questions

The requirement that all non-essential New York City employees work from home in response to the COVID-19 outbreak is having an impact on Rent Freeze Program application processing times. The Department of Finance (DOF) asks for your patience while waiting for a response to your application. You can expect a determination within a few weeks of applying.

Please review the following frequently asked questions:

Yes. There will be no disruption to your rent freeze benefit during the COVID-19 outbreak, as long as your benefit has not ended.

If your benefit has ended and you have not yet submitted your renewal application, or you have not yet received your approval notice, your landlord should continue to accept your monthly frozen rent amount for six additional months after your benefit end date.

For example, if your rent freeze benefit ended on December 31, 2019, and you have not yet filed your renewal application, your landlord should continue to accept your frozen rent amount until June 30, 2020, to allow you time to file your renewal application. If you have filed your renewal application and it has not yet been processed, once approved your landlord will receive the tax abatement credit retroactive to the time your benefit ended.

If you have not received a renewal lease from your landlord, indicate this on your renewal application and submit your application with a current utility bill or rent statement.

Even if you cannot provide a lease, your application can still be approved with no increase to your benefit. When a lease is obtained, you or your landlord can submit it for an adjustment.

If you receive a fixed income, such as Social Security or pension payments, please submit any recent monthly benefit letters (SSA) or 1099-R statements that you have.

If you or members of your household typically file tax returns, please submit the most recently filed return. When you submit your renewal application, indicate any hardship you may have had in obtaining income documents. We will review on a case-by-case basis.

If you have experienced a permanent loss of 20% or more of your combined household income, as compared to the income you reported in your last approved Rent Freeze application, you may apply for a redetermination of your frozen rent amount.

You will need to complete a redetermination application and present proof of the loss of income. Redetermination applications are available on DOF’s website.

If you need to renew your Rent Freeze benefit, please mail your renewal application, along with required documents, to the mailing address on the application form.

You should include your docket number on your renewal application. Your docket number can be found on your SCRIE or DRIE approval notice. Please do not mail your application to 59 Maiden Lane. This will delay processing.

You can also submit your completed and signed renewal application and required documents online at www.nyc.gov/contactscrie or www.nyc.gov/contactdrie.

Note: If you have already submitted your renewal application and documents, there is no need to resubmit. Please allow additional time for application processing.

If you are submitting a new initial application, please submit your completed and signed initial application along with required documents online at www.nyc.gov/contactscrie or www.nyc.gov/contactdrie.

You can also download a PDF of your completed application from our website, sign it, and mail it with any required documentation to the address indicated on the form.

Yes. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, DOF will allow you to submit your application up to 12 months after your benefit has expired, if you can show good cause.

Good cause may exist if you were hospitalized for a temporary medical condition, or your apartment was damaged by fire, flood, a natural catastrophe, or other exceptional circumstances occurred. You may submit a statement of the specific circumstances along with any documentation of your claim with your application in order to show good cause.

We can provide some services by phone, by mail, and online. If you need help, call 311 or send us a message by visiting www.nyc.gov/contactscrie or www.nyc.gov/contactdrie.

You can access and download initial and renewal SCRIE and DRIE application forms online at www.nyc.gov/rentfreeze. How can I stay updated about what the Department of Finance is doing during the COVID-19 pandemic? Please continue to check the Department of Finance’s website for updates.