Tenants Speak Out Against Eviction by Slumlord, and Demand Repairs
Urge Mayor to Take Steps to Prevent Further Displacement in Chinatown/Lower East Side
What: Press Conference
When: Monday, May 18, 2015,10am
Where: In front of 83-85 Bowery St. New York, NY, 10002
For years, residents of 83-85 Bowery Street have been experiencing constant water leakage from ceilings, and recently, a bathroom floor on the verge of collapse. For example, when one floor takes a shower, water leaks through the floor below. In one apartment, they have to keep an umbrella up in their bathroom to prevent water from the above apartment from coming down on them. In addition, the uneven and sloping stairs have been a hazardous problem for one of the buildings, where many families, seniors, and children live. Most recently, after the tenants organized a tenant association, the tenants of 85 Bowery had their gas cut off since April 1st, 2015, and despite calls to 311 and asking the landlord to resolve, gas was only reinstated last week, after over 40 days.
The landlord, Joseph Betesh, has left the building to be rundown since he acquired it in 2013, along with 9 other buildings on Bowery Street. Since then, no repairs or upkeep have been done by the landlord. The landlord is deliberately keeping the building in disrepair as a way to force tenants out because he cannot do so legally.
Since the passage of the 2008 rezoning, many luxury developments have been pushed into our neighborhood, and landlords in Chinatown and the Lower East Side have been evicting low income people from rent stabilized buildings left and right. The tenants are demanding the landlord to fix immediate dangers in all apartments and that the City should hold the landlord accountable. The tenants, along with the Public Advocate’s Office, call for public attention to this concern and urge other tenants to speak out against poor living conditions.