As 85 Bowery tenants receive updated timeline for repairs, elected call on City agencies to work ‘proactively’ as tenants approach the next stage in the fight to come home

CITY HALL – Upon the release of an updated court-ordered timeline for repair work, Council Member Margaret S. Chin joined fellow elected officials to call on the City to take immediate steps to produce a clear and comprehensive plan for every displaced tenant of 85 Bowery to return home.

“Now that tenants have received an updated repair timeline, we need to take proactive steps to plan for the next phase of the efforts to return these families home,” said Council Member Chin. “This should include a robust plan that provides clarity on how the City will address the building’s remaining safety issues while working towards our shared goal of allowing all displaced residents to come home. I look forward to joining my colleagues, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the Department of Buildings to set this dialogue in motion and ensure the timely and coordinated return of tenants.”

On Jan. 18, dozens of families at 85 Bowery were displaced as a result of their landlord’s negligence after a court-ordered DOB inspection found safety hazards due to structural instability. Further evaluation of the building by engineers led to a much longer repair timeline than anticipated.

In order to receive further clarity and begin coordinating the smooth return of all displaced families, elected officials requested a formal meeting with the City agencies tasked with assisting 85 Bowery tenants.

The letter was co-signed by Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou, Congress Member Nydia M. Velazquez, State Senator Brian P. Kavanagh, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James.

Yesterday, the court hearing a case between the tenants and their landlord, Joseph Betesh, set a March 28 deadline for structural repairs to the building.