INGLEWOOD – Incentives for first-time homebuyers, caps on rent increases in older buildings and urban zoning that sets aside affordable housing in new developments are among the strategies that could make living in Inglewood affordable for longtime residents, members of a local civic organization say.
Supporters of the Uplift Inglewood Coalition discussed these ideas and others during a recent brainstorming session on stabilizing rental costs in Inglewood – an issue that surfaced after the announcement that the Hollywood Park football stadium would house the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers.
Speaking during a community meeting Jan. 15, advocates called on city officials to pass a rent stabilization ordinance so Inglewood residents won’t be priced out of development in the growing 9.07-square-mile city.
“We had a lot of dedicated folks, a lot of folks with passion and great ideas.” People weren’t afraid to share their sentiment, their stories,” said local resident Jelani Hendrix, an organizer with the Uplift Inglewood Coalition, founded in 2015 to ensure the vision of Inglewood’s future includes and benefits everyone.
“We had folks here that really want to do the work to make Inglewood affordable; make Inglewood a better place,” Hendrix added.
Many residents see the Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District development as the spark for rising property values and rental costs in Inglewood. As a result, they say, rents are increasingly unaffordable for longtime residents who have stuck by the city during its leaner days.
Members and supporters of Uplift Inglewood said they are taking ownership of the issue of rent control and tenant protections. That’s a continuation of a Jan. 8 rally at Inglewood City Hall, where nearly 20 people spoke in support of rent stabilization during the public comment portion of the City Council meeting.
They say next steps include putting “more pressure” on the Inglewood City Council to pass a rent stabilization ordinance by lobbying Mayor James T. Butts and the other council members and by having community meetings twice a month to organize and strategize.
Activists also plan a public information campaign that will appeal to corporate property owners, entrepreneurs, celebrities and other affected parties.
Butts has voiced some support for longtime residents, suggesting at a recent City Council meeting that relocation allowances, refunds on security deposits and limited move-in costs might help protect lower-income renters and equal the playing field for some residents.
Uplift Inglewood Coalition members and supporters say they’ll discuss these ideas and others at their next community meeting, tentatively scheduled for Jan. 29 at Chuco’s Justice Center East Redondo Beach Boulevard.
“Don’t be afraid to speak out and show up, share your story because without your story, there is no movement,” Hendrix told residents. “Without your story, it’s hard to hold the elected officials accountable to make sure that we can get a comprehensive rent control policy for the City of Inglewood.”
“For those folks [who] are being impacted by the high rent increases at the moment, just know that if we don’t step up and do something about this, it’s going to happen to thousands and thousands of more people.”
By John W. Davis