Tenants are camping out in cold and ‘hangry’

Tenants from 85 Bowery announced the start of their hunger strike and campout outside H.P.D.’s offices last Thursday. Photo by Tequila Minsky

Eight tenants from 85 Bowery started a sidewalk campout and hunger strike in the frigid weather on Thurs., Feb. 8, in front of the 100 Gold St. offices of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to demand that the city ensure repairs are made to the building, so that its tenants can move back home. The food-forgoing tenants range in age from 40 to 70. After the city recently evacuated the building, citing dangerously sloped stairs inside, the landlord, Joseph Betesh, was given two weeks to fix the conditions, so that the tenants could return. He has failed to meet the deadline, and tenants — who say he has been trying to evict them for the past three years — have grown desperate. The hunger strike was temporarily called off so that the protesters could observe the annual Lunar New Year holiday.

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