Susette Kelo’s Little Pink House Finds a New Foundation

June 1, 2008

by Scott Bullock

The little pink house that launched a nationwide property rights movement is standing at a new location in New London, Conn. On June 21, the Institute for Justice will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony and party to celebrate the fact that this historic house has found a new home.

Piece by piece, the Kelo house is moved from the Fort Trumbull neighborhood. Photos by Doug Schwartz

The house, moved from the Fort Trumbull neighborhood, will stand as a testament to the bravery of Susette Kelo and her neighbors, and to the thousands of others who have battled and are battling government’s abuse of eminent domain across the country. The Kelo case caused a nationwide backlash against eminent domain abuse, resulting in reform legislation in more than 40 states and numerous state court decisions in favor of property owners. It also inspired increased citizen activism to protect property rights from takings for private development.

The dedication of the Kelo house will be the first in a three-day series of events leading up to the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous ruling. On Sunday, June 22, the Institute will highlight the fact that, like so many other projects that use eminent domain and rely on massive public subsidies, the Fort Trumbull project has so far been a major debacle. Close to three years after the Court’s decision, no new construction has taken place in the area, and the developer, desperate to obtain financing, has even applied to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to receive taxpayer-backed loans to build luxury rental housing. So far, more than $78 million in taxpayer funds have been spent on the project with nothing to show for it but brown, empty fields.

Finally, on Monday, June 23, the exact date of the three-year anniversary of the decision, Susette Kelo, in a special video release, will ask people throughout the nation to contribute on that day to the Institute so that we can continue the fight to protect home and small business owners. To get on the electronic distribution list for this video, email Brandon Adkins here at IJ at [email protected]

Scott Bullock is an IJ senior attorney.

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