Affordable housing advocates fight proposed Clippers arena in Inglewood

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Clippers want a new home, but getting that new home court in Inglewood isn't happening without a court fight.

"Today our court case is like David versus Goliath," says D'Artagnan Scorza from the Social Justice Learning Institute.

On Tuesday, affordable housing advocates with the Uplift Inglewood Coalition and Inglewood residents held a rally outside Superior Court. They say the city didn't follow the Surplus Land Act, which requires cities selling public land to give first priority to affordable housing.

"Nobody here is trying to stop economic development in anyway, but what the city failed to do here is what the law requires, which is simply, first offer the property to entities that will create affordable housing or parks or open space," attorney Tom Casparian, who is working with these groups, said.

Kish Lewis is a resident of Inglewood. She says with the new football stadium, rents are already going up and she was affected when a new landlord took over

"I needed to renew my lease for $1,000 or move. Since that time my son and I, I'm a single parent, we've had to relocate two times in four months," said Lewis.

The city is saying the area is not surplus land. They have a use for it with the arena.

It says it is part of an economic plan that will bring millions to the city to help with affordable housing.

The city also claims the property is under the Los Angeles International Airport flight path, and under an agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration, it had to move residents out years ago and can't build new residential housing there.

The attorney for the residents disagrees.

"There are other residential projects that the city has approved within this area and over the objections of the FAA, so this is just one more of the red herrings that the city has tried to throw up to obfuscate the issues in the case," said Casparian

The judge says he could have a ruling as early as this Friday.
Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.