By Shirley Ng
AsAmNews Staff Writer
Six months after being evicted, tenants of 85 Bowery Street in Manhattan, Chinatown have finally reached a long-sought agreement with the landlord, Joseph Betesh.
The agreement affirms a move-in date of August 31st,, which is also when all work in the building is to be completed and inspected by the NYC Department of Buildings.
“We think the agreement is fair and I’m glad that there is finally is a firm date for the tenants to return home. We will continue to stay vigilant until all of our tenants are moved back into the building.“ said NY Assembly member, Yuh-Line Niou.
Betesh will also be responsible for moving the tenants’ personal property from storage to 85 Bowery St. To hold him accountable, he will pay $150 dollars per day per apartment if construction is not completed by the agreed move-in date. He will also pay $2,500 per apartment as well as a lump sum of $200,000 to cover personal property claims. The agreement, also states the apartments will be rent stabilized.
“The eviction never should have happened. Until they move back in, that’s when we celebrate, “ said community activist, Don Lee,
The tenants have held two hunger strikes since being evicted. In March, inspectors discovered asbestos which prolonged construction. Shortly after that, tensions increased between the landlord and the tenants when they discovered that crews had thrown their personal property into a dumpster
AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff or submitting a story.