ITHACA, NY – Local activists are planning a protest on Tuesday in support of three low-income families who are facing eviction from their apartments on the 100 block of Meadow Street.

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Related: Elmira Savings Bank serves eviction notices to 3 low-income Ithaca families

Demonstrators will be gathering at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday in front of Ithaca City Hall at 108 East Green Street, where they plan to read a statement.

Elmira Savings Bank purchased a set of properties on the block on Dec. 11 in a $1.75 million dollar deal. A few days later, the bank served eviction notices to the three families who lived in the rental properties there, giving them 30 days to vacate the properties.

After pushback from the public and talks with city officials, the bank, wanting to be a “good corporate citizen,” pushed back the eviction date to the end of March. They also agreed to give each family $1,000 to help cover moving expenses.

Related: Bank: “We want to be a good corporate citizen”; $1k to displaced Ithacans

The legality of the evictions has been called into question. At least one of the residents, Ana Ortiz, says that she had an active lease through September of 2016. Normally, when a purchaser inherits tenants, they cannot force them to leave before the lease is up, although they can offer to “buy out” the lease or provide other incentives to get them to move.

Tom Carr, President and CEO of Elmira Savings Bank, maintains that two of three families were renting month-to-month – in which case only 30 days notice is required – and the third had a lease that expired in December.

This is a developing story. We will bring you more from the site of the protest.

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Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.