NYC ‘Poor Doors’ Separate Rich and Poor Tenants

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So in New York, housing developers have the option to participate in an “inclusionary zoning program,” which requires them to set aside 20 percent of the units for affordable housing. This means that those apartments are granted to households making less than $42,950 a year.


Smart idea, NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to make inclusionary zoning mandatory in order to create more affordable units, according to The New York Times. De Blasio “hopes to get both bigger buildings and more affordable units within those buildings.”

New York, you’re on a roll!

But just as I’m about to clasp my hands together and give New York the standing ovation that I thought they deserved; they approved a plan for an Upper West Side condo building to have a separate door for low-income tenants. Yes, a separate door.

Now correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought the days of Jim Crow Laws were long behind us. I mean we’ve elected a half-black President, a black attorney general, and honored the legendary Martin Luther King Jr. with a national holiday. This sends us back to 1920 when segregation ran rampant in this country. Are you happy New York? You took an innovative, progressive, awe-inspiring idea and just destroyed it.

The new Upper West Side apartment complex joins another building that already makes its lower class tenants use a “poor door.” Yes, there is another building where the rich have a separate door, just so they don’t have to rub shoulders with the poor. The apartment complex is in Williamsburg, a neighborhood once occupied by minorities and low-income citizens.

Gentrification at it’s finest folks. Disgusting.

“No one ever said that the goal was full integration of these populations, I think it’s unfair to expect very high-income homeowners who paid a fortune to live in their building to have to be in the same boat as low-income renters, who are very fortunate to live in a new building in a great neighborhood.”

This guy cant be serious…

First off, these really really rich people are not even close to being in the same boat as the low-income renters; they’re not even on the same island, hell they don’t even live on the same planet. They get to come home through the front door to their nicely furnished apartments and relax with a glass of red wine, while the “peasants” have to use the back entrance and hide their faces, for they are too poor to be seen. Who is he to demean a person’s life, who is he to say that the rich are better than the poor, who is he to disrespect the hardworking people of this country and strip them of their dignity through his comments?

Thankfully not everyone in New York agrees with this pompous idiot. Former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn told the New York Post, “I do not believe that these discriminatory practices were ever contemplated by the legislature, we need to change state law so that developers provide common entrances and facilities for residents in the building.”

You know New York, since you are the most diverse city in the world I thought you’d be better than this. I thought you were the city that inspired people, influenced masses, and made dreams come true. Not the city that discourages people and makes them believe they are worthless because of how much money is in their bank account. No one should be judged by how much money they make or whether they are renting or buying. New York, you are home to over 8 million people, and no matter how cliche you think it is, every single one of these people are special and unique. You do not get to choose who comes in the front and who goes in through the back. Poor or rich, black or white, people are people and you do not get to say otherwise.

Trevor Smith

Featured image courtesy of [Light Brigading via Flickr]

Trevor Smith
Trevor Smith is a homegrown DMVer studying Journalism and Graphic Design at American University. Upon graduating he has hopes to work for the US State Department so that he can travel, learn, and make money at the same time. Contact Trevor at



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