NY Assembly, Senate pass DRIE expansion

Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh discusses SCRIE.

Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh discusses SCRIE.

By Maria Rocha-Buschel
The New York State Assembly passed legislation Thursday, June 19, that will allow more tenants to qualify for the Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) program. The bill, which was introduced by Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh and State Senator Diane Savino, increases the annual limit for DRIE tenants from $29,000 to $50,000.The Senate approved the legislation on Friday.
It has not yet been signed by the governor or passed by the City Council, but a spokesperson for Kavanagh said there’s no opposition expected.
DRIE is similar to Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program, which following a legislative effort by Kavanagh, got the same increase on its income limit earlier this year.
Kavanagh said that the increases didn’t necessarily need to be introduced separately but were because of the budget constraints of submitting both at the same time. There was an extra push to have the legislation passed before the legislature adjourned for the summer at the end of last week and the effort was a success for Kavanagh and the disability rights advocates who were calling for the increase.
The DRIE program freezes rents for residents with disabilities who are living in rent-regulated housing with low incomes and who pay one third or more of their income in rent. Landlords are compensated for difference through property tax abatements.
“DRIE helps keeps economically vulnerable New Yorkers in their homes, despite ever-rising rents,” Kavanagh said. “Increasing the income limit for DRIE, just as we did with SCRIE earlier this year, will ensure the program keeps up with New York’s economic realities. Everyone deserves an opportunity to live affordably and independently in communities they help to sustain, and we all benefit from recognizing this.”

Gashouse Gang catches Lightning to win championship

Peter Stuyvesant Little League juniors team The Gashouse Gang (Photo by Susan Crawford)

Peter Stuyvesant Little League juniors team The Gashouse Gang (Photo by Susan Crawford)

Although the team did not recognize why at first, the 2014 Juniors Team was something special from the get-go, according to team manager Tim McCann.
“Once we came up with the name ‘Gashouse Gang’, we somehow knew we were team of destiny,’” said McCann. “We knew we were going to play in the championship game and win.”
After the regular season the GHG was seeded #3 with a record of 6-3-1 in a league comprised of nine teams from the combined leagues from Greenwich Village, Downtown Manhattan, East Harlem and the East Side of Manhattan (PSLL).
All players aged 13-14 were eligible to play and represent their respective leagues and compete for the coveted trophy for the title of best Juniors team in Manhattan.
The Gashouse Gang title run started against the Eagles, seeded #2 and last years title winners from the Greenwich Village League (GVLL). Jackson Rocke was the GHG starting pitcher and faced the difficult task of quieting the Eagles potent offensive lineup. “The Championship had to go through the GVLL league and Jackson was more than up to the task pitching us to an 8-5 win,” said McCann.
Next up was the PSLL’s very own Lightning team who finished with a league leading record of 11-2 record and seeded #1. ‘The good news was a PSLL team was going to the Juniors king of Manhattan; the bad news is it could only be one team, McCann added.
Andrew Mattiello was the GHG starting pitcher and needed to pitch a near perfect game if the GHG was going to win the championship. Mattiello nearly did allowing only two hits as the Gashouse Gang cruised to a 5-2 win in a pressure-packed game in front of friends and family at Bertraum Field located under the Manhattan bridge.
“Were we the best team?” mused McCann as he thought about his team’s achievement, “I guess we were when we had to be but I do believe dusting off the name ‘Gashouse Gang’ certainly played a role in our ability to rise to the occasion.”