More than two dozen families evicted from Lower East Side building

LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan, (WABC) -- More than two dozen families were evicted from their homes on the Lower East Side on Thursday night - and small children were left out in the cold.

Residents claim that the move at the building on Bowery Street was the result of a years-long struggle by the owner to evict the tenants so that the building can be razed or repaired and the rent hiked beyond the budgets of the tenants.

The families were taken to a waiting MTA bus and were told the Red Cross would pay for a hotel for two nights. They are all low-income families. Some families were allowed to carry what they could with them, but some were at work and did not get to round up their belongings.

Sarah Ahn works with the tenants, and she says the building the tenants were evicted from is dangerous because the landlord has not repaired it.

The owner of the building, Joseph Batesh has been in an ongoing legal battle with residents. Eyewitness News was unable to reach him.

Tenants say they want the building fixed, but say they feel safe.
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