The New York Post reports that New York City has approved a developer’s controversial plans to include a “poor door” for their luxury apartment on the Upper West Side. Extell, the developer, came under fire last year when it introduced plans for the 33-story luxury condo with a separate entrance for affordable-housing tenants.
The company is looking to build the special door for the 55 more affordable units that it’s adding to to the building, and will ultimately have 219 units overlooking the waterfront:
The city approved a developer’s controversial plans for a “poor door” on the Upper West Side, The Post has learned.
Extell came under fire last year when it introduced plans for a 33-story luxury condo with a separate entrance for affordable-housing tenants.
A spokesman for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development confirmed that the agency had approved Extell’s application for the Inclusionary Housing Program.
Under the program, developers may build larger properties in exchange for providing on- or off-site low-income housing.
The development will have 219 units overlooking the waterfront and 55 affordable units in a “building segment” facing the street.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer vowed to reject future developments with separate entrances.
Apparently the different entrances aren’t the only ways that poor are being discriminated against; the low-income residents in the luxury building won’t be allowed to use the amenities that are offered for the upscale clientele in the apartments, such as gyms, rooftops, and pools:
Although it seems shocking, this set-up is relatively common in New York City. By including affordable housing, luxury builders are given more square footage by the city. However, due to the fact that Extell has set up the affordable housing segment to be legally separate from the luxury housing, the building is required to have separate entrances.
The different entrances aren’t the only big difference, though. Low-income residents in the luxury building will not be allowed to use the amenities offered to tenants of the luxury apartments. For many buildings, rent-regulated tenants are banned from using the gyms, rooftops and pools. For Extell’s Upper West Side building, this means affordable housing tenants are not allowed access to swimming pools or the basketball courts.
There’s no clearer picture of the Southern Strategy in action than this: most of the residents affected by New York’s rising housing costs are people of color, which means that they’re being forced to use separate entrances and denied certain privileges that their wealthier, and mostly white, counterparts are allowed access to.
And all though the city government is working on ways to prevent it from happening again, it doesn’t change the fact that we’re almost right back to where we were in 1960, with discrimination once again legal.
Strom Thurmond would be envious.