NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that he voted for a Riverside Boulevard development that will include a separate door for low-income tenants only with the idea of increasing affordable housing in mind, and future developments will involve an “equal approach.”
A New York Post report on Monday indicated that as a city councilman in 2009, Mayor de Blasio voted in favor of a zoning resolution for the Extell Development project at 40 Riverside Blvd.
The development has since gained notoriety for its plans for separate doors for luxury and affordable units — a phenomenon that has become known as including a “poor door.”
A provision in the 2009 legislation allowed for a separation of some services for market-rate and low-income residents in the building, including the entrances, the newspaper reported.
But speaking to reporters Tuesday, de Blasio said the issue of the where the doors would be placed was not yet clear back at the time of the vote.
“The concept of that resolution was to increase the amount of affordable housing. It was not evident at the time the nuance of where the doors would be,” de Blasio said. “We’ve made very clear as an administration that we’re going to be changing the approach going forward. This was as development that was obviously well along, but on new development that we approve and we’re part of building, we believe there should be a much more equal approach to all residents, and you’ll see that play out in the actions we take.”
Last week, Manhattan Borough President Gail Brewer also said that it was too late to stop the Extell project from having a “poor door,” but told the New York Post that she is proposing legislation that would prohibit the practice in future projects.
The Riverside Boulevard project, between 61st and 62nd streets, will have 219 units overlooking the Hudson River and 55 affordable units facing the street.
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