Discrimination at Home: Luxury Development with 'Poor Door' Approved in NYC

Extell Development Company made news last summer by proposing a luxury development with a separate entrance for below-market-rate units. Now that the project is fully approved, New York councilmembers might expand anti-discrimination policies.
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Bryce Covert reports, "Extell, which is building the 33-story complex, will build a specific door for the 55 affordable housing units it’s including in order to be allowed to build a bigger building. The low-income units, which are available to people making 60 percent of median income or less, will also be in a segment that only contains affordable apartments and that faces the street while the luxury apartments will face the river."

The problem is becoming more common as developers look to gain more square footage under the city's inclusionary housing allowances. According to Covert, "besides being made to use a separate entrance, some low-income residents in luxury buildings are prohibited from using the amenities offered to the wealthy tenants, which in the case of this particular building include swimming pools and regulation-sized basketball courts. Several buildings in the city ban affordable housing or rent-regulated tenants from using perks like gyms, rooftops, and pools, and the practice is on the rise."

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development approved the project, as first reported by Kate Briquelet for the New York Post. According to Covert, however, "New York City lawmakers have taken notice of all of this, and two council members are working on legislation that would expand the city’s anti-discrimination protections to include rent-regulated tenants. A state assemblywoman has introduced legislation that would require buildings to let low-income renters use all the amenities."

Full Story: Luxury Apartment Building Will Have Separate Door For Poor Residents

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