Complaint Alleges UWS Building Owners Are Discriminating Against Older Residents
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A complaint filed with the New York City Human Rights Commission alleges owners of an Upper West Side building are discriminating against its older residents by barring them from a gym in the building.
Some rent-stabilized tenants in the Stonehenge Village building, at 120-196 W. 97th St. between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues, were furious after a gym opened up in their building and they were told they were forbidden from using it, 1010 WINS reported.
“They announced it would only available to the market-rate tenants and we wouldn’t be allowed in it period,” resident Jean Dorsey told 1010 WINS.
According to Dorsey, Stonehenge Partners says it decided to only make the gym available to market-rate residents so they can attract more market-rate residents.
But Dorsey doesn’t buy that. She says not a single market-rate resident seems to have any issue with everybody using the gym.
“I think in the common areas, whatever is in the common areas, ought to be available to everybody,” Dorsey said.
The building had once been designated as Mitchell-Lama housing, part of a program dating back to 1955 that provides affordable rental and co-op housing to middle-income families, according to a DNAInfo report.
The management company and the tenants signed an agreement in 2006 to maintain existing rent-stabilized units, but the new gym for market-rate tenants only is aimed specifically at those who expect amenities with their higher rents, a spokeswoman told the publication.
Spokeswoman Marcia Horowitz told the publication the company has invested $5 million toward upgrades to a common area used by all residents, and said the building needs market-rate tenants to survive financially.
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