Community Advocates will fight to ensure that the City of Inglewood and the Clippers are Held Accountable for Not Following State Affordable Housing Laws
CONTACT: Uplift Inglewood Coalition, 323-202-5973, [email protected]
LOS ANGELES, CA, November 6, 2019 — Today, the Uplift Inglewood Coalition learned of Judge Murphy’s ruling against our lawsuit. While we were disappointed in the ruling, we are not deterred. Uplift Inglewood filed the claim last year because the City and Clippers did not follow State laws that require cities to give first priority to affordable housing development when selling public land, but instead prioritized building a “home” for billionaire developer Steve Ballmer. We continue to argue that City officials enable billionaires to profit from our displacement while systematically excluding residents from participating in closed-door decisions that have drastic impacts on their lives, including traffic congestion and skyrocketing rent increases. This is essentially housing discrimination.
“The Uplift Inglewood Coalition demonstrated to the Court that the only obstacle to compliance with the Surplus Land Act and other affordable housing laws, and building healthy housing on these sites, is political will. The Court’s decision gives the City a pass on compliance with the SLA at a time of grave affordable and homeless crisis. As part of its #HomesBeforeArenas campaign, Uplift Inglewood will continue to consider all of its options to hold the City accountable to state affordable housing laws” states Katie McKeon, attorney with Public Counsel.
Earlier this year, a Judge ruled in favor of allowing Uplift Inglewood Coalition’s lawsuit to proceed to trial – rejecting the Clippers’ argument that their exclusive negotiations with City of Inglewood do not violate California’s affordable housing laws. Uplift Inglewood sought to enforce several state housing laws meant to address Inglewood’s housing and homelessness crises.
“Long-term residents should be central to decision-making around the renewed interest in Inglewood,” said Uplift Inglewood Coalition member, D’Artagnan Scorza, “This judgement shows that money can tip the scales of justice and allow billionaires to shape the future of our city. We still contend that State laws, which require cities to prioritize affordable housing, must be enforced and we will keep all of our legal options open, including the potential to appeal this ruling.”
The City of Inglewood is experiencing booming development, rising cost of housing and rent, and an acute shortage of affordable housing – putting intense pressure on long-term residents, as landlords look to cash in on the suddenly hot housing market. California’s Surplus Land Act is a longstanding state law designed to promote the development of affordable housing, and requires that government agencies prioritize the use of publicly owned land for affordable housing – or for parks and recreational purposes – before the land is offered to developers for other purposes.
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Uplift Inglewood Coalition was founded in 2015 in response to the rising costs of living and housing. The coalition members are parents, teachers, students, faith leaders, residents, elders, youth, business owners, renters, homeowners, and community members looking to help shape the future of our city so that working families can continue to live in Inglewood and benefit from the city’s resurgence. The purpose of the coalition is bring together Inglewood residents with one voice to educate neighbors and advocate for change. Uplift Inglewood Coalition wants secure housing for working families, safer neighborhoods, and community-centered development and is organizing for sustainable community investment that addresses the rising cost of rent and housing prices.
Public Counsel is the nation’s largest not-for-profit law firm of its kind – handling impact litigation, pursuing legislative change, and providing direct legal services that reach more than 30,000 people every year in California and across the nation.
The Public Interest Law Project (PILP) is a non-profit law center providing litigation and advocacy support on affordable housing and public benefits to local legal services and public interest law programs throughout California.
Cozen O’Connor is among the top 100 law firms in the country, with more than 700 lawyers in 26 cities across two continents. It is a full-service law firm, with nationally recognized experience in litigation, business law, and government relations. The firm’s attorneys thrive on results, defining themselves by their clients’ success.