Here's something to bring to the dinner table tonight: a luxury apartment building will soon have a separate door for low-income residents. True story. The Upper West Side's new 33-story building will build a specific entry for the 55 affordable housing units it is required by law to build. A rather common occurrence in Manhattan, luxury contractors are offered credits to expand their projects if they promise to include affordable units as well. The developer in this case says the separate entrances are actually required since the affordable segment is separate from the rest of the building.
As expected, people aren't happy about this, and New York City lawmakers have noticed. Two council members are working on legislation that would expand the city's antidiscrimination protections to include rent-regulated tenants. Another assemblywoman has introduced legislation that would require buildings to let low-income renters use all the amenities. Some low-income residents are prohibited from using the features, like a pool or a gym, offered to the tenants who own. It's all a blurred-line situation, considering median rent is nearly 40 percent of median income in New York City, and the ability to afford rent is quickly becoming out of reach for more and more residents . . .