On May 18, 27 families of 83 and 85 Bowery protested with dozens of other residents, the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and Lower East Side, the office of Public Advocate Leticia James and District Leader Jenifer Rajkumar to condemn their slumlord Joseph Betesh, owner of the Dr. Jay’s hip hop clothing chain store. Since Betesh took ownership of their buildings in 2013, he has deliberately refused to do repairs and renew leases, in an effort to drive these low-income families out of their homes.
Since the 2008 East Village rezoning, conditions like those at 83 and 85 Bowery have mushroomed throughout the community.More and more landlords and developers, including NYCHA, are using the same tactics as Joseph Betesh to harass and drive out long-time residents and small businesses from our community to make way for more Extell-type development.
The Coalition to Protect Chinatown and Lower East Side, of which NMASS is a member, calls on the de Blasio administration to hold Joseph Betesh accountable and force him to make immediate repairs. We also call on those facing similar conditions to join the fight and speak out.
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