Imagine this… You’re an artist working in your ideal studio. You acquired the property nearly a decade ago. Despite the rough parts in your neighborhood, you love the location you chose. It’s convenient for both you and your clients, within minutes of Philadelphia’s finest colleges and museums. You value the relationships you’ve built throughout the community, and wouldn’t dream of working elsewhere. You’re creating art you love. Business is thriving. All is well until… You receive notice that the City has decided to take your studio, bulldoze it, and build a grocery store in its place! Hard to believe, right? …
The government can use the power of eminent domain to take private properties from hardworking citizens. It’s happening every day across Pennsylvania.
In North Philadelphia, the Housing Authority is currently seizing the deeds to 1300+ commercial and residential properties as it commences a half-billion dollar project to revitalize the Sharswood-Blumberg community.
What you Need to Know
At Real World Law, we believe knowledge is power. The more you understand about the eminent domain process, the better you can protect your rights as a property owner.
Here are 7 things you need to know if you own real estate in Pennsylvania:
1. The Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution gives the government power to take private property for public use, and in exchange for just compensation.
2. In the last decade, Pennsylvania has used its eminent domain power to acquire thousands of private properties. In Philadelphia alone, 4000+ deeds were seized from 1992 through 2007. Of those, less than 250 owners challenged the taking of their homes and businesses. Most had no idea they could.