Thursday, August 18, 2005

UPDATE: More New London pile-on

Hat tip to Kira Zalan for bringing this to my attention.

It seems that after New London, CT, kicked these poor and middle-income families out of their homes (and had their larceny sanctioned by the liberal wing of the Supreme Court), the city decided to pile on them in other ways.

For one, the "fair market value" that they want to pay the homeowners are figures used from the year 2000...not today. I don't have to tell you how the prices of homes have risen exponentially since 2000, do I? After all, since 2000 was the year the city decided to seize the land, that's the year they want to use. How in the hell is a displaced resident supposed to buy a house in today's market with 2000's selling rate (and knowing how eminant domain works, the compensation amount would be a pittance even at 2000's selling rate)?

Also, since the residents had the unmitigated gall to actually fight for their own homes, that meant that the city had to stall its plans to begin development. So the city is going to charge...back rent! From the Fairfield County Weekly:
New London is claiming that the affected homeowners were living on city land for the duration of the lawsuit and owe back rent. It's a new definition of chutzpah: Confiscate land and charge back rent for the years the owners fought confiscation.
Surely my friends who saw nothing wrong with the confiscation most certainly have a big problem with New London's latest actions, right? Well, New London took their heartlessness and lack of shame one step further:
And there are more storms on the horizon. In June 2004, NLDC sent the seven affected residents a letter indicating that after the completion of the case, the city would expect to receive retroactive "use and occupancy" payments (also known as "rent") from the residents.

In the letter, lawyers argued that because the takeover took place in 2000, the residents had been living on city property for nearly five years, and would therefore owe rent for the duration of their stay at the close of the trial. Any money made from tenants -- some residents' only form of income -- would also have to be paid to the city.

With language seemingly lifted straight from The Goonies , NLDC's lawyers wrote, "We know your clients did not expect to live in city-owned property for free, or rent out that property and pocket the profits, if they ultimately lost the case." They warned that "this problem will only get worse with the passage of time," and that the city was prepared to sue for the money if need be.
That's what happens when government is empowered at the expense of individuals.