Saturday, February 21, 2009

A March through Chinatown

From CAAAV --

Dear friends and supporters,

Tomorrow will mark 100 days since the residents of 81 Bowery were forced out of their homes by the City's Department of Buildings.

The landlord, Donald Lee, is supposed to submit new plans to the Department of Buildings with the violations corrected. 100 days later, he has still not done so. Telling lie after lie, Donald Lee is playing the blame game and delaying the process of ensuring tenants safety and return.

Join us this Sunday, February 22nd, at 12:30 in front of 81 Bowery for a vigil and march against displacement and gentrification throughout Chinatown. The event will last less than an hour, and we will be moving throughout Chinatown, so please come on time if you plan on supporting! Bundle up, it will be cold. But if the tenants are out there, we hope to see you too!

If you have questions, email Helena at
More info. on the building below.
The 81 Bowery Tenants Have A Right to Return!
Our demands:
1) Donald Lee, the landlord, immediately submit plans to the Department of Buildings that correct the safety violations and ensure the return of all tenants to 81 Bowery
2) The Department of Buildings only approve plans submitted by the landlord that ensure the return of all tenants to a safe and healthy home

On the evening of November 13th, the City evicted all of the tenants at 81 Bowery Street (an SRO building located in the heart of Chinatown) without notice-- citing safety issues that were the landlord's legal responsibility to correct. Over 50 people were forced out their homes, many of whom lived there for more than 20 years. It took SEVEN City agencies to properly vacate the building that night, and as of today NO agency has held the landlord responsible.

The Landlord wants you to believe that the tenants created the conditions for the vacate order, and that this eviction was the tenants' fault. Don't believe the LIES! What is ironic is that the tenants have been calling the City for YEARS to get the City to enforce its own housing code. The City finally came to the building to inspect and deemed it uninhabitable. In reality, the tenants of 81 Bowery are being punished for the landlord's failures to meet his legal obligations.

This is a clear example of the gentrification and displacement that is happening throughout Chinatown – more and more low-income residents are being forced out of their homes during a time when services throughout the City are being cut. SROs (Single Room Occupancy) are the most affordable housing that exists for low-income individuals. Losing them would mean more overcrowding in Chinatown and a loss of truly affordable housing that will not be replaced.

For more information contact CAAAV's Chinatown Tenants Union at: (212) 473-6485 or

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