Nearly 90K Apply for Affordable Units in Upper West Side “Poor Door” Building

Nearly 90,000 people have applied for 55 affordable housing units in an Upper West Side high-rise building that controversially features separate entrances for lower income tenants, the New York Times reports.

The developer for the luxury condominium at Riverside Boulevard and West 62nd Street told the Times that, as of Monday, 88,200 applicants had entered a lottery to live in affordable units at the building even if it means walking through a so-called “poor door.”

The Times says that tenants who win the lottery will live in the same building as market-rate condominium buyers who have spent as much as $25 million, but won’t have access to the same lobby or amenities including a gym, pool, bowling alley and private theater.

“I guess people like it,” said Gary Barnett, the president of the tower’s developer. “It shows that there’s a tremendous demand for high-quality affordable housing in beautiful neighborhoods.”

Affordable units at the building by the Hudson River are available to households with incomes between $30,240 and $50,350. Rents range from $833 for a studio and $1,082 for a two-bedroom.

The announcement that the 33-story tower would feature separate entrances for condo buyers and low income renters drew heavy criticism from officials and housing advocates, who have said the practice was discriminatory.

Several other recently built luxury condo buildings have also featured separate entrances, but Mayor de Blasio has said his administration is working to ban the practice. And late last month New York City council members introduced a bill that would bar building owners from discriminating against renters in affordable units in the use of building amenities, like gyms.

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