The 2005 Kelo Decision by the Supreme Court is one of the worst decisions ever handed down. (I still can’t believe it happened.) It allows cities to declare areas “blighted” so that private developers can come in and develop newly cleared land.
This is private property we are talking about. And the demolition isn’t even for a highway or an airport or something like that. It’s often just so wealthy people can be closer to the river or metro stop. The neighborhoods much of the time aren’t even “blighted.” (Though it shouldn’t matter. It’s private property.) But the areas affected are typically working class parts of town populated by people with little political sway.
The City of Charlestown intends to demolish the community in order to allow new commercial and residential real estate to be built in its place — privately-owned real estate. The city declared its intentions in June 2014, when it applied to the state for permission to use eminent domain and for $5.3 million in “Hardest Hit Funds,” a federal grant program administered through Indiana’s Blight Elimination Program (BEP). The land grab might not have been economically feasible if not for being directly subsidized and incentivized by the federal government…
…The use of eminent domain comes with compensation to the evicted landowners. As the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states, “No person shall be… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
The City of Charlestown has proclaimed that a paltry sum of $6,000 per home is the amount of “just compensation” that will be administered to the Pleasant Ridge refugees if the land grab takes place.