Exiled Tenants of 85 Bowery Resume Hunger Strike Tomorrow
No housing, no food.
Displaced tenants of 85 Bowery will resume the hunger strike this week in an effort to spread awareness of their collective plight. The protest action against controversial landlord Joseph Betesh, the second in the last few months, begins anew tomorrow morning (11am) on the steps of City Hall. We are told that five are confirmed to partake and that others may join.
“Despite promises made by the Mayor’s office months ago, the tenants still have no clear deadline for when they will return home,” reads a statement from the tenants’ representative. “They remain evicted from their rent-stabilized homes and continue to face harassment from their landlord and the Department of Buildings as repairs are dragged out.”
Families living at 85 Bowery were vacated back on January 18. The heart of the city’s order was the destabilized staircase, which the landlord finally replaced at the end of March. However, the deadline of a March 28 return for tenants did not happen. Discovery of asbestos during construction – or announcement of its presence – pushed the date back indefinitely; though, tenant advocates are quick to point out the suspicious timing of the reveal just days earlier. It’s still anyone’s guess as to when everyone can return.