After a five-day hunger strike, some displaced residents on the Lower East Side hit pause Monday for Lunar New Year.
The tenants have been protesting a forced evacuation of their building at 85 Bowery back Jan. 18.
Officials said it was due to structural problems that the landlord is working to correct.
No date has been given as to when the tenants will be allowed to go back home.
The displaced residents have been camped outside the office of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) since last Thursday.
The residents said if they do not get a guarantee that the repairs will be done in time, they will continue their hunger strike. They said the landlord is not doing enough to get residents back in their homes quickly.
"People could still live there and they can fix the damn stairway. That's it. And HPD could have fixed the damn stairway themselves and then charged the owner of the building, which is what should happen; and he'd be paying less than he's paying for a hotel room," said Michele, a member of the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors. "But, no, this is all smoke and mirrors to get these people out of their homes."
HPD released a statement, saying, "HPD and DOB in coordination with City Hall have been working closely with the tenants' representatives to get displaced families back to their community and homes as soon as possible."
"The owner is working to make needed repairs and has now agreed to pay for hotel rooms for most of the tenants, until the building is safe for them to return to," the statement continued.