Inglewood passes temporary rent control ordinance amid rent hikes

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- As Inglewood's massive new stadium continues to grow, residents packed a City Council meeting Tuesday calling for leaders to put rent control measures in place.

The $5-billion project is hailed as a boon to the surrounding area, unless you're renting.

"We need to defend ourselves and protect ourselves from landlords who have raised the rent $1,500 in one fell-swoop," Julia Wallace said.

The council passed a temporary rent control ordinance that limits rent increases to no more than 5 percent per year. It would only apply to apartment buildings and other rental units built before 1995. Single-family homes and condominiums are exempt.

"The Uplift Inglewood Coalition is not against development. We're for development, but we want development without displacement," member Jelani Hendrix said.

But Inglewood Mayor James Butts said it's just a 45-day stopgap measure as the council weighs a potential long-term rent control situation.

"It could be a mandate if you will, that can actually be part of the housing solution," Gary Painter said.

Painter is a professor of public policy at USC. Unlike many economists, Painter sees rent control laws as a useful tool, as long as they're accompanied by other methods to boost low-income housing.

"We have to fundamentally figure out ways to increase the amount of workforce housing and in the short run rent control can be a band-aid," he said.

The temporary rent control ordinance goes into effect Tuesday. The council also has an option to extend it past the initial 45 days as a longer-term rent control measure is considered.
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