NYC
11/01/2010 09:41 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Margarita Lopez, Housing Authority Board Member, Pays $250 In Rent

The Post is reporting on an all-women building in the East Village whose most notable tenant, Housing Authority board member Margarita Lopez, paid an astonishly low price of $250 to live there -- the norm for all units in the building.

The building, once owned by the city, was given away for next to nothing in the junky heydey of the 1980's, and Lopez, along with councilmember Rosie Mendez and four other women, renovated it with $630,000 in charities, taxpayer grants and loans.

The Post writes: "Intended as low-income housing, the five-story tenement has become a destination for well-to-do lesbians" Though councilmember Roberto Caballero, who himself is openly gay, found it strange that no man had ever moved in, saying "I would consider that a form of discrimination."

Lopez, whose makes $187,000 a year enforcing gender discrimination laws in NYC housing, rebuffed the claim, saying her living situation has "nothing to do with me being the No. 3 official in NYCHA...I lived in this building long before I ever dreamed of being an official."

Incoming tenants initially have to prove they are low-income applicants, but once they're in they don't ever have to leave, even if they are making $112,500 a year like councilwoman Mendez. But Mendez insists there is never a consideration based on gender.

"It wasn't couched in terms of men and women," she said. "It was couched in terms of vacancies and 'Let's start interviewing people.' "