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City Officials Call For End To 'Poor Doors' In New Developments

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer wants an end to segregated affordable housing in new developments with blocked access to amenities for low income tenants or separate entrances, also known as "poor doors."

A loophole in the city's Inclusionary Housing Zoning incentive program is apparently what allowed one developer, Extell, to build a 33-story high-rise on Riverside Drive South on the Upper West Side with two income entrances, 1010 WINS' Derricke Dennis reported.

"It was a mistake, but as a city we can rectify it," Brewer said.

City Officials Call For End To 'Poor Doors'

The program includes distribution requirements for new developments to create more affordable housing and foster diversity. But Brewer said thanks to the loophole, developers are able to dodge the requirements and build so-called "segmented buildings" and by extension, "poor doors."

"Developers essentially use the option of creating the affordable housing off-site, but place that 'off-site' housing on the same zoning lot," Brewer said.

Brewer and Public Advocate Letitia James said they'll push for legislation in City Council to outlaw the Inclusionary Housing  loophole.

"Changes can and must be made to the city's Inclusionary Housing program to stop developers from segregating buildings," Brewer said.

"Income segregation has no place in a progressive city," James said.

"It's outrageous that we give huge tax credits to developers for including affordable apartments in their buildings – only to allow them to turn around and segregate entrances or block access to amenities for low-income tenants," Council Member Mark Levine said.

There has been no response from Extell.

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