The City is in the process of updating Fremont's Affordable Housing Ordinance. The purpose of the ordinance is to address the need for affordable housing related to market-rate housing production and to foster an adequate supply of housing in Fremont for all persons at all economic levels. Based on technical studies, stakeholder input, and direction from the Fremont City Council and the City's Planning Commission, the City developed a proposed update to the Affordable Housing Ordinance. On October 12, 2021, the City Council voted 5-2 to approve the City’s update. The major revisions included in the update are summarized below.
The updated ordinance would revise in-lieu fees for developers of for-sale units in Fremont. Developers who would rather pay affordable housing fees instead of including on-site affordable units would pay $44 per square foot after a three-step phase-in period, with the first increase occurring on the effective date of the ordinance until the end of 2022, the second increase from January to December 2023, and the full fee taking effect in January 2024. Fees for stacked flats and for rental housing are proposed to remain unchanged.
The ordinance would revise the current “hybrid” option whereby developers produce on-site moderate-income units and submit a partial fee payment.
The ordinance would establish a 15% inclusionary requirement consisting of 5% moderate-income units and 10% low-income units for for-sale residential developments and a 10% low-income inclusionary requirement for rental residential developments. The ordinance would also revise provisions for alternative compliance methods for rental developments, allowing developments that include both for-sale and rental components fulfill their obligation under the ordinance by providing affordable rental units. The ordinance would require 7.5% low-income units and 7.5% very low-income units for a total of 15% set-aside rental units.
The ordinance would include several technical revisions regarding the timing and approval process for affordable housing development plans. The ordinance would also include certain revisions to address court decisions and changes in State law that make language in the current ordinance outdated and/or unnecessary.
The second reading of the updated Affordable Housing Ordinance is scheduled for the Fremont City Council meeting on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. The new ordinance would take effect 30 days after the second reading, and the new fees would take effect 60 days after the second reading.