New York Skyscraper's Separate 'Poor Door' Called A Disgrace


#1

I am just thankful I don’t live in Manhattan, because I certainly would be using the poor door.

npr.org/2014/07/30/336322608/new-york-skyscrapers-separate-poor-door-sparks-outrage


#2

that’s terrible.


#3

Yeap, that’s the New York I know and hate… Filled with greed.


#4

New York City is a good place to be from – far away from. For a lot of reasons, of which this is just one.


#5

I guess I understand the outrage - discrimination and all - but if I was asked to use the “poor door” it would not bother me. I suppose I got used to the idea working in construction in downtown L.A. for many years. Being a grubby lot, we were almost never allowed to use the main entrance of the high-rise buildings, but were instructed to use the loading dock or enter from the alley. But its all for appearances sake, and very shallow, if you ask me.


#6

That’s so sad.


#7

Most New Yorkers wouldn’t be bothered by it either. But New York City and Long Island (esp Long Island) is the most segregated place in the United States.

They don’t just segregate by race and wealth, but also by religion and ethnicity.

In New York City and Long Island (and I guess upstate NY too) they have co-ops (they are similar to Condos in appearance, but different in legality/ownership. My mother-in-law (who lives on Long Island) used to own one. She had to be interviewed by the board before being allowed to buy her co-ops apartment. During the interview, the board asked her how much she made and demanded to see her tax returns and bank statements to prove that she belonged there.

My mother-in-law now lives in a rented Condo, but she had to be interviewed by the condo board in order to be approved. Even though the condo is being rented from the owner of the unit, not the board, the board still interviewed her.

These rules are meant to keep people out who they don’t want in their building.

Now, back to the “poor door building.” Building developers should provide X amount of units to lower income people. However, those units should be mixed in with the market-price units. The owners should NOT know who are the lower income people. The building will have 33 floors, 164 units with 55 being lower income. I don’t know the floor layout, but they could have easily done something like this:
Well, the break down could easily be something like 4 lower income units on the first 5 floors (20 units), 3 lower income units on floors 6-15 (50 units), & 1 owner income units on floors 16-20 (55 unites).
Then, access to the pool, gym, etc could be granted via key card with ID instead of elevator & floor access. My example above allows the market rates for the floors 1-20 to drop some to all access for the middle class. Otherwise, the building will be for the rich and 55 units for poor, with the middle class getting nothing.

That’s why this kind segregated building should not be allowed. It has unintended long term consequences.


#8

To be honest, as an architect, I understand the developers reasons for doing this. Despite how p.c. our country is trying to be, there is the legitimate concern that with low-income housing comes an increase of crime. While this increase may not necessarily happen in this case, the developer needs to make sure that the legally-required inclusion of affordable units won’t scare off the owner’s high end customers.

As architects, we have to submit to the will of out clients so long as that will is not breaking the law. The owner’s concern is first and foremost ensuring the viability of his building for his core customer base. If he can’t build up and maintain this customer base then the building will get sold off and re-purposed, and then no one gets to live there. This physical separation allows for a sense of security for his target group, while still providing housing for people of lesser means.

Do I think there’s a better way of handling this? Sure. Does that mean that the client was wrong to request this? Not in the least.


#9

If I could get the drastically reduced rent which comes with the poor door, I wouldn’t mind using it at all! I wonder if any hotels offer the same deal.


#10

It’s a good thing. At least the developers are honest about it. Mammon does grace people well and this is actually a good thing as it highlights this. Why hide what everybody knows. Money makes the world go around.


#11

I understand New York City - particularly Manhattan, is one of the most expensive places to live. I know the cost of living has grown over the years. If I lived there, I would go through the poor door because I am poor. I would never survive in Manhattan. In time, I would have to move back to Arizona and live with the rattle snakes and scorpions.

Actually I don’t mind the rattle snakes and scorpions because I know where they hang out and I know what to expect. They were here first.

I have often thought of taking in wildlife to live with me and charge them rent!


#12

A brand new river-side Manhattan apartment for 80% off and all I have to do is use a different door? Sign me up!

The developer is required by law to build low-income housing as a condition of him building luxury apartments. He could build a separate low-income building and nobody would say a word. But he decided to use a common wall with a luxury building.

The problem is with the law. The developer should be allowed to build whatever he wants, which would undoubtedly be luxury buildings. The property tax revenue can be used to provide the poor with housing vouchers so they can live wherever they want.


#13

That’s way I’m looking at it, too.


#14

Wow thanks for this level of insight. So it’s not about shaming the less wealthy, but for practical reasons.

And I’m really surprised that people find it an offense in what’s obviously true and ubiquitous, when highlighted. When it’s all around us, people ignore it. Yes if you have more cash, you’re treated better and in most respects you are a more equal person. This happens in Capitalism systems and in Communist systems. It happens in socialist countries like Sweden too. It’s just the way things are.

Rich people get better deals when taking loans or making investments too. You may say the poor person would benefit more from a credit interest rate, yet the rich get more benefits as they get privileged rates. Profit is the motive. Mammon rules the world.

Next we’ll wonder why the seats in First Class are so much nicer than the seats in Coach. :slight_smile:


#15

I honestly can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not…

Rich people get better deals because, in the bank’s estimation, they are better able to handle their money and are therefore more likely to pay it back in a timely manner. While this may be an unfair standard, it’s a reasonable one. We need providers to be able to remain providers, and in order for them to do that they have to make sure they can sustain themselves; as such they have to be prudential about who they give money to and at what rates. It’s not a perfect system, and these companies should put more though into how they handle the accounts of poorer individuals, but you can’t say that it’s an unreasonable stance to be wary of people who do not appear able to properly handle the money you’re giving them.


#16

I dont buy that for one minute, if you look at the history of criminal convictions in almost every state in the country, you will see there is just as many ‘well off’ people getting busted for things as well, drug use, prostitution, shady financial dealings, etc.

Plus, anyone that can afford to live anywhere in Manhattan, is probably doing pretty good, I dont think anyone living there is dirt poor, or living paycheck to paycheck. LOL


#17

LOL, it’s news to journalists when they discover people socioeconomically segregated housing? Get out much, guys?


#18

I don’t see what all of the fuss is about. If you think we are all equal in this country you are wrong. Maybe these people should just be happy they have affordable housing and their own entrance. This is just another case of the “redheaded step-sister syndrome”.


#19

If New York City would get rid of all of its zoning regulations and other housing regulations that do nothing but drive up the cost of housing, you might have a point. But when government regulation is responsible for income segregation then I think it is a fair issue for criticism.


#20

It gets worse

The sociologists discovered through interviews and passing conversations with the women through the years that the affluent sorority girls viewed themselves as displaying femininity in a “classy” way, but that they felt the way the less-affluent women did so was “trashy.” For example, one of the affluent women said “good girls” would never wear a short skirt or a revealing top, but if she did, she wouldn’t dance seductively in that outfit at a party. But the less affluent women did, and therefore were considered “skanky.”

On the other hand, the less-affluent women equated sluttiness with what they viewed as the materialism and the unfriendly, cliquey nature of women in the Greek system. One of them told the researchers that “sorority girls are kinda whorish and unfriendly and very cliquey. If you weren’t Greek, then you didn’t really matter,” they wrote.

"Surprisingly, women who engaged in less sexual activity were more likely to be publicly labeled a slut than women who engaged in more sexual activity," Armstrong said. “This finding made little sense until we realized that college women also used the term as a way to police class boundaries.”

The authors discovered that the affluent women participating in sororities in fact worried less about being judged as a slut than did the less affluent women, even though they would engage in more sexual activity. That was because they kept that activity quiet and conveniently seemed to define the accepted standards surrounding sexual behavior.

But when the less affluent women tried to befriend them, the affluent women would publicly slut-shame them as a way to convey that they didn’t fit in.

"This often took the form of calling other women out for their dress or deportment, as a way of making it clear that they did not fit in with the high-status group,” Armstrong said.

source

Actually a lot of rich people live paycheck to paycheck because their spending expands along with their salary.


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