For nearly a decade now, the University of Southern California has had a major construction plan in the works—a plan that would pump about $1-billion into a rundown area near the campus, transforming it into restaurants, shops, office space, and student housing. But residents of the area have protested the plan, arguing that it would displace the low-income families that have lived in the neighborhood for a long time. (Click here to listen to a debate about the gentrification issue on Los Angeles public radio.)
Now a committee of the Los Angeles City Council has responded to the protesters, putting the university’s project on hold and asking USC for more information about the displacement of residents in similar university projects across the country, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Times says the university offered $2-million to support low-income housing in the redevelopment, but neighborhood activists want $20-million.
USC has consistently marketed the project, which is supported with private funds, as a major economic boon in tough times. The university contends that the project would generate 4,000 construction jobs and 8,000 permanent jobs.