June 2006 National Homeownership Month

Advocates Urge Eminent Domain Reform to Protect American Dream

PRESS RELEASE: June 1, 2006

John Kramer
Lisa Knepper
(703) 682-9320

Arlington, Va.—Today marks the beginning of the 2006 National Homeownership Month, declared once again by President Bush as a time to celebrate homeownership as a cornerstone of the American Dream.  The Institute for Justice and the Castle Coalition warned today that it is more important than ever to protect the American Dream of homeownership by stopping eminent domain abuse.

Nearly one year has passed since the U.S. Supreme Court’s outrageous decision in Kelo v. City of New London upholding government takings of homes for private development.  Since then, almost every state legislature has considered reforming its eminent domain laws, and 21 states have passed some kind of reform.  But reform efforts either stalled or were defeated in many states, and even in some states where reform passed, further legislation is needed to close loopholes and fully protect homes, small businesses, churches and other property from eminent domain for private profit.

“The best way to celebrate National Homeownership Month and truly protect the American Dream is to get informed about and get active in the fight against eminent domain abuse,” said Steven Anderson, coordinator of the Castle Coalition.

At the Castle Coalition’s National Homeownership Month webpage ([URL]), journalists and other individuals can:

  • Join the Castle Coalition for free to stand up against eminent domain abuse
  • See the status of legislative reform, state-by-state, with the Castle Coalition Legislative Center
  • View an interactive map of eminent domain abuses across the country
  • Learn how to protect homes, small businesses and churches using the Eminent Domain Abuse Survival Guide
  • Get original reporting on eminent domain for private development with CastleWatch, the Castle Coalition’s online publication.

Throughout National Homeownership Month, the Castle Coalition will add new resources to this webpage, including original reports exposing the “myths” put forward by defenders of eminent domain abuse, showing how redevelopment projects often fail to deliver on their promises, and detailing the many new instances of eminent domain abuse nationwide since the Kelo decision.

The Institute for Justice is a public interest law firm that defends property owners nationwide from eminent domain abuse and represents the homeowners in Kelo.  The Castle Coalition, a project of the Institute, is a nationwide network of citizens fighting eminent domain for private development.