Community members and local officials kicked off LeFrak City Senior Housing Month with an event at the Queens Library on Friday to inform eligible seniors about the city's rent-freeze program.
Officials said there are more than 500 people in the LeFrak City housing development who are eligible for the Rent Freeze Program but haven't enrolled. Across the city, the number is even higher.
"There [are] 94,000 seniors who have not applied for this," said Queens City Councilor Julissa Ferreras-Copeland.
Ferreras-Copeland has teamed up with members of Mayor Bill de Blasio's Community Affairs Unit and the city's finance department for the initiative.
To take part in the program, an applicant must be at least 62 years old and living in a rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartment.
The stated purpose of the program is to help "those eligible stay in affordable housing by freezing their rent."
"Most of us, we worked all our lives," said Billy Samples, an SCRIE recipient. "We deserve to reap the benefits of whatever the city got to offer us. Otherwise, that rent will eat you alive."
Organizers were also trying to reach those who might know someone else who qualifies for the program, and walked around the neighborhood passing out information.
"We want to make sure that they are listening, that they are learning about the program, and that they can tell their relatives, neighbors, and the people that they take care of, because this is very important," said Sheila Voyard, the director of outreach for the city's finance department.
The department is scheduled to hold registration events at the LeFrak Library each Thursday throughout August.
To learn more, visit www1.nyc.gov/site/rentfreeze/index.page