State Legislature Says No More Poor Doors

June 29, 2015 | Liam Mathews

Luxury real estate developers will no longer be able to receive tax breaks for including segregated affordable units in new buildings, the New York Post first reported, thus doing away with “poor doors.” The provision, part of the affordable housing bill passed in the Assembly last week, undoes a controversial tax measure, Section 421a, that was passed last year and allowed developers to segregate tenants based on income and create separate entrances for lower-income tenants.

“Affordable units shall share the same common entrances and common areas as market rate units,” the bill states.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer told the Post, “Buildings that segregate entrances for lower-income and middle-class tenants are an affront to our values.”

“I think that the state legislature and the city are now doing the right thing in terms of treating people in every socioeconomic group with the same level of respect and dignity,” City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal, whose Upper West Side district houses the most notorious “poor door” buildings, told the Guardian.

Hopefully developers’ hatred of paying taxes wins out over their aversion to poor people, and affordable housing continues to be inserted in new developments. The current “poor door” developments will be exempt from inclusion.

(Photo: Bosc d’Anjou)