Poor door or spatial semantics?

Some of the tenants of Edge Community Apartments rallying for non-segregationist treatment from the buildings management company. 27 North 6th Street (poor door) is directly behind them.

The Edge Condos has categorized itself by the luxury and amenities it offers its dwellers. In an agreement with the city for every square foot of affordable housing built the developers were permitted to add an extra 1.25 square feet of luxury condos, and through the New Housing Opportunity Program (NHOP), Inclusionary Housing Program received a juicy tax Real Estate Tax Abatement (known as 421-A) in 2008.

In case you were wondering if the affordable housing built under this deal also has the pool, spa, fitness center, lounges, doormen, etc. amenities the luxury condo inhabitants have — the answer would be: No! Excuses other developers have given for introducing poor doors to their affordable wing(s) fall into a parsing of semantics and reasoning along the line that this conceit allows for a more cost-effective delivery of affordable apartments.

27 and 34 North 6th Street are the entrances to the affordable housing, while 22 North 6th is listed as the address of The Edge’s 15 floor South Tower. This ranked 27 and 34 North 6th among the first poor doors that were established in NYC. Last year New York State passed Assembly Bill A8323 and made poor doors illegal. The bill states clearly: affordable units shall share the same common entrances and common areas as market rate units, and shall not be isolated to a specific floor or area of a building.

So one June morning tenants of the “affordable apartments” at the Edge Community Apartments marched to the “Not Poor Door” on 22 North 6th Street and delivered a letter to their landlord demanding better maintenance of their apartments, improved security, and access to community facilities otherwise only available to the market rate condos. The tenants from the Edge Community Facilities claim they have no security, sometimes broken front doors, no access to open space or community facilities, dirty windows, and that brown water runs from the taps in their kitchens.

As reported by Benjamin Fang in the Greenpoint Star, the management company for The Edge stated both buildings are fully compliant with all zoning and other regulatory mandates, and that they will review and address any issues and tenant concerns.

Author: The Greenline

Your monthly source for North Brooklyn community news covering Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick. Currently 13,000 copies are distributed throughout the community free of charge.

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