James to file discrimination complaint against Stonehenge

Management company is accused of barring rent-regulated tenants from building gym

From left: Letitia James And 160 West 97th Street
From left: Letitia James And 160 West 97th Street

A mixed-income building on the Upper West Side is under fire for allegedly barring rent-regulated tenants from using the property’s gym.

Public Advocate Letitia James said Tuesday that her office will file a complaint with the New York State Human Rights Divison against Stonehenge Village’s management company, which only permits its market-rate tenants to use the building’s gym.

James called the policy “blatantly illegal” before an assembled crowd on Tuesday, and said that it set a “dangerous precedent.”

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Rent-regulated tenants at 160 West 97th Street make up 60 percent of Stonehenge Village’s occupants, and gathered with James and other elected officials Tuesday to slam the policy, which they dubbed a form of segregation.

Councilman Mark Levine noted that many of the building’s rent-regulated tenants were part of the city’s Mitchell-Lama affordable housing plan and “came [to the building] at a time when the real estate community had forsaken this area.” He pointed to a sign on the door until recently, which indicated that “approved” residents were not allowed to hold the door for others, and said the message “recalls memories of the pre-Civil Rights era.”

Stonehenge declined to comment to DNAinfo. [DNAinfo]Julie Strickland