City leaders say many Queens seniors eligible for rent freezes aren't using them.

City finance commissioner Jacques Jiha and City Councilman Peter Koo kicked off Flushing Senior Housing Month Thursday at the Self Help Benjamin Rosenthal Senior Center. They plan to visit different senior centers around Flushing with translators to encourage people to register.

The rent freezes are for people 62 and older and the disabled living in rent-regulated apartments.

Jiha says that nearly a third of eligible people pay 70 percent of their income in rent when they don't have to.

“New York is a very expensive place to live,” Jiha said. “And if there is a program available, you should take advantage of that program.”

The city’s Department of Finance tells NY1 1,434 seniors in Queens are eligible for the freezes, but aren’t taking advantage of them.

“It will help me quite a bit,” said Flushing resident Liz James, who attended the kickoff. “Because it would help me to keep my bills down and maybe I could save a little.”

You don't need to give your residency status to apply.

To find out if you are eligible, go to