The owners of a building on West 97th street between Columbus and Amsterdam that banned rent-stabilized tenants from the new gym may have violated discrimination laws, according to the city’s Human Rights Commission. The commission filed a notice on Thursday indicating “there was enough proof of age discrimination to merit an administrative trial,” according to the Associated Press.
Resident Jean Green-Dorsey had filed the complaint, noting that the rent-stabilized tenants tended to be over 65, while the market-rate tenants are generally younger. About 60% of tenants are rent-stabilized.
“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.
Dorsey has said she’d be fine with paying a fee to use the gym, but the management hasn’t allowed the rent-stabilized tenants to do so. The development is known as Stonehenge Village.
The landlord, Stonehenge Partners Inc., stated in a statement Friday that it was in search of “an amicable resolution to the situation” and had made different proposals, which it declined to detail.
The organization has mentioned the fitness center was built to entice marketplace-price tenants, and the distinction wasn’t primarily based on age. Even though city law prohibits discrimination based on age, it really is silent on the subject of rent-regulation status.
Stonehenge told us last year that it had invested more than $5 million to upgrade the building’s common areas, including a rear courtyard, that benefit all tenants.
Several buildings in the city now have similar policies, so a ruling on this could have wide implications. Building owners are adding amenities to draw more market-rate tenants, but some have excluded renters who pay less.
It’s not clear when the hearing will be scheduled.