September 1, 2005
First, homeowners in New London, Conn., lost their property to the city after the decision by U.S. Supreme Court in the Kelo v. New London case. Now, they are being charged back rent for the years they remained in their homes while the legal case was being decided, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).
The city is trying to collect back rent from the seven homeowners who fought the seizure, arguing they have lived on city property since 2000, the year the homes were condemned.
According to the Fairfield County Weekly, some homeowners in this working-class (but unblighted) neighborhood will owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in back rent:
- Matt Dery has been assessed more than $300,000.
- Susette Kelo says her rent will be a more modest $57,000, but she'd still have to "...leave here broke."
In addition to charging the homeowners back rent, the city also wants any money they made from tenants who rented their properties. In some cases, the rents are the homeowners' lone source of income.
Lastly, the New London Development Corp., is only offering buyouts based on the market rate in 2000 instead of present-day value; given the real estate boom, the difference is significant, says IBD.
Source: Editorial, "House Party," Investor's Business Daily, August 24, 2005; and Jonathan O'Connell, "A New (London) Low: A refrigerator box under the bridge - the Kelo Seven prepares for the worst," Fairfield County Weekly, July 14, 2005.
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