By now, we have all heard the stories of how hard Nipsey Hussle was working to keep his Hyde Park neighborhood from becoming gentrified. For years, the area has been inhabited almost exclusively by blacks, but as the city’s Metro has been constructing a new train that will take travelers down Crenshaw Boulevard and eventually deposit them near Los Angeles’ busiest airport, developers have found the area ripe for the picking.
Similarly, in neighboring Inglewood, the same type of thing is happening. A new NFL stadium and plans for a new basketball arena for the Los Angeles Clippers have made Inglewood the new target for developers who are swooping in, buying up properties, and pushing out older residents who have lived there for years.
In some instance, as Angel Jennings reports for the Los Angeles Times, tenants have been given notice that their rents will more than doubled—although no new improvements have been made to the units they are living in. In cases where the rent is not being raised, tenants are simply being given 60-day notices to vacate the premises as new owners take over.
In a city with no rent-control or rent-stabilization laws, there is little that anyone can do to stop this from happening to residents—about 25 percent of whom are black and over the age of 55, according to the Times.
In one instance, Tomisha Pinson—who lives next door to site where the new stadium is being built for the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers—told the Times that she received notice that her $1,145 monthly rent would be increasing to $2,725 for the two-bedroom apartment she currently lives in.
Many watched this same type of situation play out on HBO’s Insecure, when the main character, played by Issa Rae, had to move out of her Inglewood apartment because gentrification priced her out and made it impossible for her to stay there on her own.
Currently, blacks and Latinos make up 42 percent and 51 percent of Inglewood’s population, respectively. Gentrification could change all of that. Two-thirds of the city’s residents are renters, and with no rent-control laws in place to prevent what is currently happening, the city is an attractive investment to those looking to cash in on all the new entertainment construction.
At a March 5 city council meeting, Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. proposed a 45-day moratorium that capped rent increases at 5 percent and halted evictions while the city tries to come up with a more viable solution for the problem. The city council voted unanimously to adopt the proposal, and there is an option to extend the measure for a full year.
But again, that is a temporary fix to an ongoing problem that has already affected many in the area.
And so another historically black neighborhood in Los Angeles gets whitewashed and those who have lived there the longest are powerless to stop it.