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Residents Left Behind as L.A. Stadium Project Surges Ahead

Inglewood had fallen on hard times, but then plans for a massive sports and entertainment complex came along. While the city’s future is poised to change dramatically, the development is also displacing residents.
April 20, 2019, 1pm PDT | Camille Fink
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Phillip Kalantzis Cope

Angel Jennings writes about Inglewood, California, the location of a new NFL stadium and entertainment district. The city in southwest Los Angeles County has a long history as a black middle-class enclave, but social and economic changes starting in the 1970s resulted in a city in severe decline struggling with major fiscal challenges.

The situation in Inglewood has changed significantly in recent years with the arrival of the new stadium and related development, plans for a basketball arena that are taking shape, and spillover from the region’s technology sector. "But now that Inglewood is on the come up, longtime residents and city officials face a different challenge: Many who have weathered decades of hardship no longer can afford to live there and are being left out of the economic renaissance," says Jennings.

Housing prices are soaring in a city where three-quarters of residents are renters and the majority of the population is black and Latino. The result has been a flood of major rent increases and evictions that are displacing longtime residents. Uplift Inglewood, a tenants’ rights group, is suing to halt the arena project, and the city council last month approved a 45-day moratorium to cap rent increases and stop evictions.

But activists say the city is not doing enough to help Inglewood’s most vulnerable residents as the city’s economic tides change. "The temporary cap was a win for Uplift Inglewood, which continues to apply pressure to City Hall. It also is taking the fight to Sacramento, pushing for an anti-price-gouging bill," notes Jennings.

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Published on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 in Los Angeles Times
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