Last week, Upper West Side community board members were up in arms that a new luxury condo will have separate entrances for people living in affordable housing units in the building. Christine Quinn is also outraged by the "poor door" policy at the 33-floor condo building slated for construction at 40 Riverside Boulevard between 61st and 62nd Streets.

“I won’t stand for this or discrimination of any kind,” Quinn wrote in a letter sent yesterday to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Senate Majority co-leaders Dean Skelos and Jeffrey Klein. “This discrimination against lower-income residents negates the inclusiveness the program seeks to create.”

The building will include five floors of affordable housing (55 out of 274 units) for people who are making 60% or less of area median income to rent. The building is owned by Extell Development Company, who are applying for the city's Inclusionary Housing Program: Extell pays for the whole low income housing section of the building, but get the bonus of more floor area, which they then add to their market rate units. They are able to completely cover their costs for all the low income housing and sell the bonus floor area to another building within a half-mile of the site.

Even though it's physically part of the same building, the five-floor affordable housing "building segment" is considered legally separate from the luxury condo, and will be run by a separate (likely non-profit) organization. This is not an uncommon thing: in Brooklyn, there are separate entrance ways for affordable housing residents in luxury buildings including the Toll Brothers’ Northside Piers and Douglaston’s the Edge.

Extell gave this statement to 1010 WINS about the much-criticized plan: “Many factors go into the design of a building including efficiency, cost and financibility, especially when the units are permanently affordable, which is the case here. The goal we will deliver on is filling a neighborhood need by adding high quality affordable residences in a beautiful neighborhood - residences we are confident will attract no shortage of applicants.”

“I do not believe that these discriminatory practices were ever contemplated by the Legislature,” Quinn said in the letter. “We need to change state law so that developers [eligible for the exemption] provide common entrances and facilities for residents of the building.” Quinn, who according to records has gotten a fair chunk of change (over $11K) in campaign finances from Extell members over the last three years, was city council speaker when the building's plan was first proposed and approved over two years ago.