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Mayor proposes ‘emergency’ rent control measure for Inglewood

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Rent hikes would be capped at 5 percent

Fewer than 35 percent of homes in Inglewood are owner-occupied.
By Jenna Chandler

Inglewood Mayor James Butts is proposing a 45-day moratorium on rent hikes in the city, where a new rail line and $4.9 billion NFL stadium (plus a potential NBA arena) are helping drive up housing costs—and putting pressure on renters.

Under the proposal, many multi-family building owners would be barred from raising rents by more than 5 percent in an one-year period. It would apply to apartment buildings and other types of rental units—except condominiums and single-family homes—constructed before February 1995.

“If a temporary moratorium on residential rent increases were not imposed now, the public health, safety and welfare of many citizens would be immediately threatened,” Butts wrote in his proposal.

The moratorium will be voted on Tuesday afternoon and requires the approval of at least four of the five members of the Inglewood City Council.

Butts says in his proposal that the moratorium would protect tenants from “excessive rent increases” while city staffers explore options for providing relocation assistance to renters who are evicted.

Uplift Inglewood, a group that has advocated for citywide rent control and more affordable housing, supports the measure. It tried unsuccessfully last year to put a rent control initiative on the city’s ballot.

It’s cheaper to rent in Inglewood than most places in Los Angeles County: The going rate is about $1,275 per month, compared to $1,900 countywide, according to CoStar. But the median household income in Inglewood is also much lower: $46,389 compared to $61,015, census data show.

Prices are also rising faster. In Inglewood, they’ve increased 10.8 percent since 2016, compared 7 percent countywide, CoStar data show.

The majority of Inglewood residents are renters; fewer than 35 percent of homes are owner-occupied.