Residents of a Baldwin Hills neighborhood are pleading with the owner of their buildings not to sell to new owners who might push them out.
They’re worried about the lack of affordable housing in an area that they say is rapidly gentrifying.
It is a neighborhood where a lot of people pay below market rate. They say that’s what they can afford and they don’t know where they’ll go if they’re pushed out which seems like an increasing possibility.
The rent they pay is increasingly rare. For Kimberly Roberson’s 2-bedroom where she’s lived with her daughter for 25 years, her rent is $1,000 a month.
Jose Lopez has lived in his 2-bedroom with his 94-ear-old father for 20 years and their rent is $1,200 a month.
Both are fearful that a new owner would raise their rents to market rates.
“I’m terrified that my rent would double which changes everything about my life,” Roberson said.
These neighbors gathered Monday to urge the owner of their apartments not to sell to investors that would price them out of their units.
The previous owner gifted their four buildings to Boston University, which residents say has already agreed to sell one building.
They’re pleading with the university to sell the remaining three buildings to Downtown Crenshaw Rising, a community group that previously tried to purchase the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall. The group has pledged to keep the tenants in place.
“I’m worried about my dad’s health,” Lopez said. “He’s all I have as family.”
Like so much of LA residents say their neighborhood is rapidly gentrifying with new developments like one on Jefferson and La Cienega pushing out lower income and people of color.
Lopez has nicknamed the high rise luxury apartment building, the death star.
“It’s the planet killer, its killing the community,” Lopez said. “No one should be displaced to make room for someone more affluent. There’s room for everybody let’s figure that out and how everybody has a place to be.”
NBC4 reached out to Boston University and the real estate broker working with it for comment on the situation with these apartments. Neither has yet to get back with a comment.