Do we need more housing in Fremont?

It sure feels like a lot of housing is being built in Fremont.  Luckily, there is an objective standard we can measure ourselves against.

The Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) is the state-mandated process to identify the total number of housing units (by affordability level) that each jurisdiction should accommodate.  In the Bay Area this is administered by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG).  The RHNA numbers are calculated in eight year periods with the current period being from 2014 to 2022.

The chart below shows the most recent data on Fremont’s progress toward the RHNA goals.  The City has already approved 40% MORE market rate units in these four years than what is required over the whole eight year period!

So, even if we issued no new building permits for the next four years we would already be well over our allocation for market rate housing.  Unfortunately, there are many more developments that have been approved but have not yet been issued building permits.

This means that we are doing WAY more than our fair share of accommodating new Bay Area residents.

In the Bay Area, there are three counties and 28 cities that are not on track to meet the goals set by ABAG for building market rate housing.  Yet Fremont has already built 140% of its allocation.

Meanwhile, we have issued permits for less than 15% of the total affordable units allocated to us.

Why?

Honestly it is hard to know why.  Many Fremont residents ask me why the City Council continues to approve new housing developments that cause school overcrowding, traffic congestion, and burdens on our infrastructure.  They really can’t understand what the Council could possibly be thinking.

One thing I know is that we currently have two Council Members that have pledged never to take money from developers and have never had any financial relationships with developers.  These two Council Members, Mei and Bacon, usually don’t vote in favor of market rate housing developments that come before them.  Yet they are consistently outvoted by the majority of the council who vote in favor of almost every housing project that is proposed.

I believe it is unethical for City Council Members to have any kind of financial relationship with developers that do business in our City.  This November, we have a chance to elect Council Members that are independent of developer interests.

I have no financial relationships with developers and I pledge that while in office I will never have a financial relationship with a developer.  I will represent the interests of Fremont residents and work to stop any new development that does not benefit our community.