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Stop Displacement @ 83-85 Bowery

$15,170 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 292 people in 15 months

We are the tenants of 83-85 Bowery in Manhattan Chinatown. We have lived harmoniously in these buildings for many years, with Cantonese and Fuzhounese people from ninety years old to newborn babies.  

The City's policies is causing displacement across communities for the benefits of the rich, and our buildings are no exception. Only a few years ago, after Joseph Betesh—owner of Dr. Jay’s—bought the Bowery buildings in 2013, he began to try to push us out of our homes.

Betesh is exploiting different means through the courts to kick us out; he knows we are poor immigrant families and cannot afford to pay exorbitant legal fees. He is bullying us with money, in hopes we will give up. On January 18, Betesh colluded with the City agencies to issue a vacate order on one of the two buildings, 85 Bowery. They claimed the building's main staircase was structurally unstable and therefore a "significant life-safety hazard." In fact, this was one of the many violations the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) asked Betesh to fix almost two years ago. We also retained an independent engineer who proved that the staircase could be fixed with most tenants staying in the building. However, Betesh refused to fix the violations and HPD did NOTHING to push for the repairs.

That evening, we were kicked out of our homes in two hours, waited in the cold with whatever suitcases we could carry, and were in the end transferred to a hotel far away from our community for temporary stay. Since then, we are suffering from the poor living conditions in the hotel and our work and school have been significantly affected. Our suffering is due to the City's inaction to hold Betesh accountable!

The City asked the landlord to repair the building in two weeks. But HPD has been responsible for the repairs all along! Right now, we are demanding HPD make sure timely repairs are done so that we can return home within the official time limit. We need your help as we are fighting to go back to our homes and community. Stand with us to demand justice!


Media Coverage

NY1
Residents Demand City's Help After They Had to Evacuate Their Manhattan Building 

PIX11
Chinatown tenants hold rally, fear landlord won’t let them return

ABC
More than two dozen families evicted from Lower East Side building

AM NY
Bowery tenants forced from homes put in Brooklyn hotel with rats, bedbugs, group says

The Village Voice:
Chinatown Tenants: Landlord’s Mass Eviction Attempt Based on Lies

Huffington Post:
Tenants' Protest 7/19/2017 (live stream video)

The New York Times: 
A Clash of Old and New in a Manhattan Real Estate Prairie

The People for Bernie Sanders:
Tenants' Protest 4/12/2016 (video)

DNAinfo:
Chinatown Residents Protest 'Slumlord' Owner of Their Buildings
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Dear Friends and Supporters,

83-85 Bowery Tenants Association and The Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side would like to invite you to a celebratory dinner on Friday, October 19 6pm-9pm at Jing Fong Chinatown (20 Elizabeth St). While this dinner celebrates the homecoming of the 85 Bowery tenants after their months long displacement, it serves as a thank you to all those who stood with the tenants and continue to fight displacement within NYC. We hope that you can join us for dinner and that we can continue to work together in fighting displacement.

This an invitation only dinner so please do use the Eventbrite link (85bowery.eventbrite.com) to RSVP and let us know how many guests you would like to bring. This is a free event but donations are always welcomed. All the donation from the celebration dinner will go to help build Youth Against Displacement (YAD). Donations are issued to CSWA and earmarked YAD.

Please feel free to contact us at any time with any questions you may have.

Best,
83-85 Bowery Tenants Association and The Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side

CSWA is a 501(c)(3) and all donations are tax-deductible

Donations can be accepted via check
CSWA (with memo YAD)
P.O. 130401, New York, NY 10013
or
via PayPal ( www.paypal.me/cswa79) with note YAD
+ Read More
Dear Friends,

Thanks to your contributions, we have reached the goal of $15,000! Your incredible support is vital for the Bowery tenants as they continue to fight to go back home and to protect their community.

It is outrageous how landlords like Joseph Betesh of 85 Bowery have been using the City agencies to kick tenants out of their homes. And so, it's inspiring to see the Bowery tenants took the lead and fought back against the collusion and displacement. The Bowery tenants’ actions, including a 5-day hunger strike, have pushed the Mayor’s office to oversee the repairs. It forced the landlord to negotiate with the tenants. Their courage and success are encouraging to all of us who are fighting displacement across the city.

Now the tenants, with the support of the community, are petitioning Mayor de Blasio: bring the tenants home, and stop colluding with landlords and developers!

• Sign and share the petition aimed at Mayor de Blasio - http://bit.ly/85bowery
• Continue to spread the donation page to support their fight - https://www.gofundme.com/stopdisplacement
• Spread the boycott of Dr. Jay’s (owed by Joseph Betesh) - https://boycottdrjays.com/

Best,
Zishun Ning
Youth Against Displacement
+ Read More
Dear Friends and Volunteers,

Thank you for supporting the Bowery tenants' hunger strike. The strike has been a great success in making the City of New York responsible for getting the tenants back home. Your support is indispensable in the effort.

As we all know, the problem goes beyond one building and one community. The fierce struggle of the Bowery tenants further exposes the collusion of the City with rich developers and slumlords that we are witnessing and experiencing daily; the corruption is so deep to the core that the Mayor can't even promised a date for the tenants to go back home. This is a shame.

This is a fight for all of us. Moving forward, we would like to invite you to be part of the effort to grow this campaign and build a strong front against displacement. The Bowery tenants have been an inspiration. Let's stay in touch and carry on.

Best,
Zishun Ning
Youth Against Displacement
The hunger strikers broke the fast.
+ Read More
Dear friends and supporters,

Thank you for your support for the displaced tenants of 85 Bowery. Yesterday, the Bowery tenants announced their plan for a hunger strike. What kind of city is it that people have to do a hunger strike to go back home?

Here is how you can help:

1. Urge the Department of Housing Preservation and ​Development (HPD) to do its job by Feb 7 before the tenants have to resort to the hunger strike.

2. Spread the word as broad as possible! The more people know, the more pressure to the City to do the right thing.

Feb 16 will be the Chinese New Year, a significant time for family gathering and housing cleaning to the Chinese community. The tenants don't want to be homeless in Chinese New Year! Let's continue to support the Bowery tenants so that they can go back home!

Best,
Zishun Ning
Youth Against Displacement
+ Read More
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Raised by 292 people in 15 months
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