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Upper West Side Apt Building's Policy Barring Low-Paying Tenants From Using Gym May Be Discriminatory

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A Manhattan apartment house's policy of letting only high-paying tenants use its gym may be discriminatory, according to New York City's Human Rights Commission.

A notice filed Thursday says there's enough evidence of age discrimination to merit a hearing on the Stonehenge Village complex's gym rule. According to tenant Jean Green Dorsey's complaint, the rent-regulated tenants excluded from the gym are largely over 65, while market-rate tenants aren't.

Upper West Side Apt Building's Policy Barring Low-Paying Tenants From Using Gym May Be Discriminatory

Last year, 75-year-old Dorsey said she found out the gym would be, in her words, "only for the market-rate tenants, period." A sign appeared on the door ordering gym users not to hold the door for anyone, she said.

"You don't get to make me a second class citizen in my own home — just not going to happen," said Dorsey, who has been living in the building on W. 96th Street for more than 40 years.

More than half the tenants at Stonehenge Village are rent-stabilized.

"I don't like to fight," Dorsey said. "But if you make me fight, I like to win."

Green Dorsey said Friday says she's hopeful the landlord will now let rent-stabilized tenants pay to use the gym. They've been barred altogether.

"I'm looking forward to Zumba classes," she told WCBS 880's Jim Smith.

Landlord Stonehenge Partners Inc. hasn't immediately returned a call. Its lawyer declined to comment.

Luxury buildings with separate amenities or doors for affordable apartment residents have spurred debate in the city.

Public Advocate Letitia James and other officials supported Dorsey's complaint.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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