INGLEWOOD (CBSLA) – Over a period of several decades, the city of Inglewood has spent tens of millions of dollars in federal money to soundproof middle-class areas near the Los Angeles International Airport flight path, but bypassed the poorest neighborhoods, according to a report Thursday from the L.A. Times.
The Federal Aviation Administration and LAX gave the city nearly $400 million to either purchase and demolish homes under the flight path or soundproof them, the Times reports.
However, according to records obtained by the Times, Inglewood disproportionately spent the money on soundproofing middle-class neighborhoods on the east side of the city, farthest from the airport. Most of the eligible homes there received soundproofing.
Inglewood’s zoning rules prohibited improvements in a poor neighborhood of about 1,200 homes and apartments along Century Boulevard, the Times discovered. The newspaper also found hundreds of units in an apartment village called Darby/Dixon that was eligible for FAA funding but was not soundproofed.
Bettye Griffith, director of the city’s residential sound insulation program, told the Times she didn’t know why the Darby/Dixon apartments hadn’t been upgraded. She said they will be offered soundproofing in the next round of funding. It’s unclear when that will be.
Inglewood also used the funds to purchase and clear properties along Century Boulevard for commercial projects. The city’s development program stalled after the economic collapse of 2007, leaving vacant land that is now being sought by the L.A. Clippers for a new basketball arena.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)