DUNN LORING, Va. - Nearly a dozen homeowners in Fairfax County are having their houses taken by the state in an eminent domain case. The residents being impacted live near Interstate 66 as the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) plans to expand the highway and surrounding roadways.
Ten homes in this Dunn Loring neighborhood are being impacted - some are older, others are new. Most of the homeowners have already received offers to buy their property from VDOT, but there are a few who have not.
"They were supposed to have given us an offer back in January and then it became February," said Carol Hook. "They still have not come to us with an offer."
Hook moved to her five-bedroom, four-bathroom house five years ago mainly because it is two blocks from a Metro station.
"I understand that they are going to want us out by December, but we still don't have an offer," she said.
Hook is one of two homeowners awaiting offers amid the state's mission to take over the ten homes on this block as plans push forward reportedly for construction of toll lanes on Interstate 66.
"Finding a house and buying a house, that's not going to be easy in this market," Hook said.
"Originally the goal of the project was to have people out of their homes by the end of this year," said VDOT Northern Virginia Megaprojects Director Susan Shaw. "But we recognize, especially since we haven't even made offers to some of those homes, that we will need to be flexible with people, especially where the project schedule can allow. … The real estate market is very tight in these areas and their needs are very specific, so that has been one of the challenges for our team - to find homes that meet the full needs and characteristics that each of these homeowners have."
VDOT is partnering with Express Mobility Partners. The private company is reportedly spearheading the home-buying and home-replacing process for impacted homeowners. The company will also apparently build and operate the toll lanes.
Each homeowner has had their own obstacles regarding this process. Most recently, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam agreed the homeowners here have been treated unfairly.