Low-income NYC senior and disabled homeowners at risk of losing crucial benefits
Tens of thousands of senior and disabled homeowners have less than three months to renew two tax exemptions that can save them hundreds of dollars each year.
The New York City Department of Finance has sent letters to 55,000 homeowners asking them to renew the exemptions by March 15, 2017.
Both the Senior Citizen Homeowner and Disability Homeowner exemptions provide crucial financial help for lower- and fixed-income senior and disabled homeowners who need to stay afloat in a city with rising housing costs. If eligible homeowners miss the deadline, they may be at risk of losing out on financial benefits that can keep them from losing their homes and being able to age in place.
Our research shows that there is a large number of New Yorkers who would be eligible for these tax exemptions but do not know about them or have been unable to access them.
Based on a study of two sample districts, less than half of eligible seniors were receiving the benefit in Brooklyn Community District 5 (including East New York, Cypress Hills, and New Lots); only about two-thirds were in Queens Community District 12 (including Jamaica, Hollis, St. Albans). Eligible households must have a combined income of $37,399 or below.
At the Center, we lead a Senior Homeowner Initiative funded by the New York City Council that aims to ensure elderly homeowners can age in place and remain in their homes. Over the next few months, we’ll be coordinating with DOF and our network of legal services and housing counseling agencies to help reach out to senior homeowners and community stakeholders to spread the word about the renewal process and assist applicants with the application.
March 15, 2017 is the deadline to renew AND apply for the first time to receive the tax exemptions.
Read FAQs from the Dept. of Finance here.
If you or someone you know needs assistance, please call our Homeowner Hub at 1-855-HOME-456.
(Source for chart: 2014 Housing and Vacancy Survey; NYC Dept. of Finance June 2016 property tax bills)