Eminent domain is the power of government to condemn and take private property for public use. Because it plays a major role in urban blight renovation, it most often affects poor families of color. In 2006, the Casey Foundation’s Neighborhood Development unit convened people on both sides of the eminent domain issue to see how this tool could be used to support rather than displace families. The discussion produced a set of guiding principles for the responsible use of eminent domain outlined in this report.

January 1, 2007

In This Report, You’ll Learn

  1. 1

    What eminent domain, or government confiscating condemned private property, entails.

  2. 2

    How the Kelo Supreme Court decision framed the debate on eminent domain.

  3. 3

    Why eminent domain is used as a tool for urban redevelopment.

  4. 4

    What states have done to check the use of eminent domain.

  1. 5

    How it affects responsible redevelopment for poor families of color.

  2. 6

    Why the eminent domain debate rages on.

  3. 7

    The key questions, controversies and uses discussed in the Casey consultative session.

  4. 8

    Who participated in Casey's eminent domain consultative session.

Key Takeaway

The 2005 Supreme Court Kelo decision sparked debate over the use and scope of eminent domain, spurring a multitude of actions at the local, state and federal levels.

The aim of Responsible Redevelopment is not to stop revitalization, but to influence actions and leverage monies to improve the help available for affected families.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations