HRC: Gym for High-Rent Tenants Only Is Discriminatory

New York City's Human Rights Commission (HRC) recently filed a notice that an owner’s policy of not allowing rent-stabilized tenants to use the gym is discriminatory. The notice followed a tenant's complaint that the rent-regulated tenants excluded from the building’s gym are largely over 65, while market-rate tenants aren't. The HRC’s notice states that there's enough evidence of age discrimination to merit a hearing on the building’s gym rule.

Luxury apartment buildings with separate amenities or doors for rent-restricted apartment residents have sparked action in the city council. Last year, in response to news of the building’s gym policy, Councilman Mark Levine attempted to amend the city's human rights code to protect rent-stabilized tenants from discrimination. And, currently, the New York City Council is introducing legislation that would bar building owners from discriminating against rent-restricted tenants in the use of building amenities such as gyms, pools, play rooms, and green spaces. The legislation would require developers and building managers to provide equal access to such facilities. Additionally, if market-rate tenants can pay a fee to access amenities, those who live in rent-restricted units would be required to be offered the same deal.