Earlier today, elected officials rallied with residents and community activists against Chinatown landlord Joseph Betesh. Tenants of two buildings on the Bowery have been waging a long battle to stay in their homes. Now it looks like the residents and property owner have made a deal. The Daily News reports this afternoon:
A tentative deal reached Tuesday will spare 27 low-income immigrant families in two Chinatown buildings from eviction, the Daily News has learned. The settlement between residents of 83 and 85 Bowery and buildings owner Joseph Betesh revolves an angry and escalating dispute over the properties. A source said the details should be finalized before a scheduled June 15 court hearing. The two sides found common ground at a Tuesday court session that followed a protest outside the state Supreme Court building on Centre St. Under the deal, the tenants will receive long-term leases and the apartments will remain rent-stabilized, the source told The News. Residents will also be temporarily relocated during renovations in the two buildings — and receive a housing stipend to help cover any increased costs.
UPDATE 4:21 p.m. One of the elected officials at that rally today was U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez. “If it holds,” she wrote in a statement this afternoon, “this deal has great promise for ensuring these residents will keep their homes, while necessary improvements are made to the buildings.” Velazquez wrote the landlord a letter on Friday. You can read it here.