The City of Fremont designated May as Affordable Housing Month during the May 3rd City Council meeting to highlight the City’s continual push to expand its local affordable housing supply.
The City was awarded a $1.7 million grant from the State of California’s Local Housing Trust Fund Program in 2014, and updated its affordable housing ordinance in 2015 to further increase funding for affordable housing and incentivize market rate developers to incorporate affordable housing into their projects. Now the City’s efforts have entered into a new stage, with large projects officially afoot.
For starters, Lennar Homes and Toll Brothers, plan to build more than 400 units of affordable rental housing just steps away from the Warm Springs/South Fremont BART station. Toll Brothers has partnered with Bridge Housing, and Lennar Homes is partnering with St. Anton Communities, a privately-owned affordable housing developer, builder and manager.
“The St. Anton Communities project is the outcome of the Mayor and City Council’s vision to create flexible, workable housing policies that allows us to build this nearly $100 million workforce housing community,” said Ardie Zahedani, Division President of St. Anton Communities.
The St. Anton Communities project, Innovia, is a 290-unit transit-oriented mixed-use affordable housing development that will provide affordable rental housing, retail space and a number of on-site amenities, programs, and classes for community enrichment such as active courtyards, social centers, a swimming pool, gathering areas, a tech center, workforce development, and a bike repair facility. Construction is anticipated to break ground in November 2016 and be completed within two years.
Other projects in the pipeline include:
- Laguna Commons – a 65-unit affordable housing project with nearly half of the units reserved for military veterans has almost completed construction and is scheduled for occupancy at the end of May or early June this year.
- Central Commons – a 30-unit Habitat for Humanity project for low-income home buyers is anticipated to break ground later this year or in early 2017.
- Parc55 – a 90-unit affordable senior apartment project that is set to begin construction in late 2016 or early 2017.
- Stevenson Family Apartments – an 80-unit affordable housing project developed with funding from nonprofit developer, MidPen Housing. Construction is planned for early 2017.
In addition to these new affordable housing projects, the City of Fremont has established other creative approaches to increase affordable housing. The City partnered with HIP Housing, the San Mateo based nonprofit that runs one of the nation’s largest Home Sharing programs. The program creates affordable housing options from the existing housing stock by matching people who have spare bedrooms available with those seeking a place to reside, resulting in a mutually beneficial solution for the community.
Fremont’s efforts are paying off! The City received a Housing Leadership Award from the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California on May 4, 2016, for its leadership when it comes to committing “boomerang” funds to affordable housing. These are new property tax revenues that the City received when the State eliminated Redevelopment Agencies.
Fremont continues to make a strong commitment to increase its affordable housing inventory. Affordable Housing Month is a way for the City to keep residents informed of its efforts and to continue to show support for affordable housing.