(Bloomberg) -- Related Cos. won dismissal of a suit by a group of prospective tenants claiming a “poor door” at one its luxury Hudson Yards condo buildings constituted racial discrimination.
Three Black New Yorkers selected to live in rental units in the building through an affordable-housing lottery failed to show they were treated differently due to their race, US District Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan ruled Wednesday.
So-called “poor doors” are a controversial element of many luxury developments, which receive tax benefits for including affordable rental units subject to income limits. In some buildings, such units have a separate entrance and also lack access to amenities like gyms or roof decks.
The three sued last year, claiming Related was breaking the law, including the federal Fair Housing Act, by separating the occupants of rental units from those in luxury condominiums.
Caproni said the plaintiffs failed to show they faced discrimination based on race rather than income. “The FHA does not provide protections based on economic status, even when economic status has substantial overlap with race,” the judge said in her opinion.
Mark Shirian, a lawyer for the tenants, said his clients plan to appeal the ruling and possibly pursue state claims.
Related spokesman Jon Weinstein said in a statement, “We appreciate the court dismissing these completely baseless claims.”
The case is Moody v. The Related Companies, 21-cv-06238, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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