The city of Inglewood Tuesday exceeded residents' expectations when the city council agreed to implement a 5% cap on rent increases, with the new $4 billion NFL stadium under construction raising rents.
It's been a fight residents in Inglewood, who have battled round-after-round for years for a lower cap on rent increases ever since the announcement of the new NFL stadium. While not yet open, the stadium has already resulted in increased construction of new homes, apartments and increased rent.
"We've been able to get the city to take a major step forward," D'Artagnan Scorza of the Social Justice Learning Institute says. "We think this can be a model throughout the state and even the country."
The citizens group "Uplift Inglewood" has been pushing the city council to cap rent increases. The current plan caps it to 8% per year, but those who spoke during public comment said that's still too high.
"My rent went up $100, and it's been going up $100 for the past five months," a teacher told the city council. "I have to move schools."
Another speaker said, "Many of us feel like we're not being listened to. Again and again, we've said that 8% is too high."
Seemingly, the city council agreed and suprised attendees when it voted to cap rent increases to 5%.
Landlords and the local board of Realtors opposed the cap and said it will hurt those who depend on rentals for income.
"I think mom and pops are a mainstay of that, and they're threatened," a landlord said at the meeting.
"What it does is it doesn't give incentive for those who want to put houses into the market to do that because they're not promised any returns." Chike Nweke of the Inglewood Board of Realtors say.
Inglewood has been undergoing a transformation since the start of construction on a $4 billion stadium that will be the future home of the Los Angeles Rams and LA Chargers. Add to that the revitalization of The Forum and a new metro line. While some say the projects could turn the city into a booming LA suburb, others worry it will price out residents to the point of adding to the already increasing homeless count.
"Already, I'm paying a disproportionate amount of my income to pay for my rent, and I see what's happening to my neighbors going through the same thing," Alexandra Halicki, an Inglewood resident, says. "And it's just really sad to see this community being dispersed."