Temple University students who had been facing eviction from their North Philadelphia homes this Friday got an early holiday gift from city officials yesterday: They won't have to pack up and move after all.

The Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment issued a stay on the evictions, said Maura Kennedy, a spokeswoman for Mayor Nutter.

The stay "is good news," Temple spokesman Ray Betzner said late yesterday. It comes as students at the university also are dealing with finals week.

"Our position all along was that it was wrong for students to have to move in the middle of the year," Betzner said. "[The stay] allows students to focus on their finals and on their studies and on their grades, as they should be."

The city's Department of Licenses and Inspections mailed eviction notices in October, warning landlords and students in about 60 North Philadelphia properties that their housing arrangements violated city zoning codes.

Longtime residents in the Yorktown and Jefferson Manor neighborhoods just south of the university have for years complained to L&I that landlords were ignoring zoning codes and ordinances that prohibit student housing in their neighborhoods.

At the time the eviction notices went out, Kathy Casper, the mother of a Temple student who received one, complained to the Daily News: "I'm just mad that this landlord rented this house if he knew it was against the law."

The area her daughter lives in, near 10th and Jefferson streets, is part of a section cited in a 2005 city ordinance banning student housing in the area including Yorktown and Jefferson Manor, except student housing that is also "owner occupied."

Kennedy said that the eviction stay was in place pending the outcome of a hearing on appeals filed by landlords.

Pam Pendleton-Smith, spokeswoman for a Yorktown civic group, could not be reached for comment last night.