Take Two

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Alex Cohen & A Martínez

Richmond, CA to use eminent domain for housing crisis relief

by Take Two

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A worker removes furniture from a foreclosed home before the start of a bus tour of foreclosed and blighted properties on July 13, 2012 in Richmond, California. Members of the group Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) joined city officials and Richmond mayor Gayle McLaughlin on a bus tour to view foreclosed properties in neighborhoods in Richmond that have been hit the hardest by foreclosures. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The city of Richmond, California is a lot like other blue-collar towns. 

It has about 100,000 residents, and one of their biggest employers is the Chevron oil refinery. It's also seen a lot of damage inflicted by the housing crisis, with a rising number of foreclosures and plummeting real estate values. Many of Richmond's homeowners are living with a mortgage that's underwater.

Which is why city officials are considering a novel approach by utilizing the legal authority known as eminent domain

It's based on an approach developed by Robert C. Hockett, a Cornell University law professor, and its been simultaneously applauded and blasted by industry experts.

Professor Hockett joins the show to explain how it will work. 

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