top of page

Prominent Ithaca landlord catches lawsuit from NY Attorney General

The Commons West Apartments are located on East State Street and managed by Ithaca Renting.

(ITHACA, NY) An Ithaca proprietor of over 500 residential units is in a lawsuit with New York Attorney General Letitia James for denying housing to low-income tenants. Jason Fane is the owner of Ithaca Renting which is responsible for residential and commercial properties in the Downtown Ithaca Commons and Collegetown near Cornell’s campus.

New York Attorney General, Letitia James claims that an investigation by her office concluded Fane and his real estate agents at Ithaca Renting failed to accept Section 8 vouchers to prospective tenants. The refusal to accept such vouchers is a violation of New York’s housing laws against source of income discrimination established in 2019.

Her lawsuit, which was filed Monday, seeks to require Fane and Ithaca Renting to stop denying housing to New Yorkers with Section 8 vouchers, pay $300,000 in civil penalties, and set aside five percent of residential housing units exclusively for Section 8 vouchers.

“All New Yorkers deserve access to fair and decent housing, regardless of their station in life,” said Attorney General James in a press release. “Denying housing to New Yorkers based on their source of income is not only illegal, but it’s also worsening the housing crisis. We are taking action to protect vulnerable tenants, keep New Yorkers in their homes, and enforce the law.”

Court documents detail two specific instances of Fane’s real estate agents denying tenants the ability to use Section 8 vouchers. In September 2020, a tenant already renting a property from Fane sought to obtain a new apartment in the Commons West building. Fane’s real estate agent informed the woman tenant that it did not accept Section 8 vouchers for any apartments owned by Ithaca Renting.

In December 2020, a local housing advocate helped a homeless man who recently obtained a Section 8 voucher inquire about renting an apartment from Fane’s Ithaca Renting. A representative told her that the group does not accept vouchers.

James alleges that the woman was forced to wait months to get into an apartment not owned by Fane and the man remained homeless for at least a year while waiting on a list to move into an apartment.

According to the Office of the Attorney General, Fane and his related entities own 18 properties which include Commons West Apartments, Cityview Apartments, Collegetown Center, Collegetown Court and Collegetown Plaza, to name a few.

The matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Stephanie Milks of the Binghamton Regional Office, according to a press release.

bottom of page