Fremont city leaders invest in adding affordable housing as prices soar

FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) —

The city of Fremont is getting pricier so city leaders are now investing in adding affordable housing. Prices to own and rent keep going up.

“In our neighborhood, the houses are going for over a million,”says Angie Drexel, a Fremont resident.

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Poonam Ghosh used to rent but had to move in with her aunt to make ends meet. “Fremont is out of the question now, I can’t afford anything in Fremont. One bedroom is $2000, $2100, it’s difficult,” says Ghosh.

City officials in Fremont realize there is a need for more affordable housing and saw an opportunity in the Islander Motel. The property on Mowry Avenue was built in the early 70s and next to it are two vacant lots of land. Dan Hardy, a director with the nonprofit Resources for Community Development, says “It’s a great location, a couple of blocks from city hall and they really wanted to see it spruced up.”

The city council approved a $500,000 loan to Resources for Community Development to convert the motel into affordable housing. The nonprofit developer is in talks with the owner of the Islander Motel to buy the land and build 70 studio apartments and around 60 units for families.

“The need is pretty incredible as you know the rents have been skyrocketing in the area,” says Hardy.

The nonprofit plans on gutting the property and doing a complete renovation. When built, rent for a two-bedroom would be anywhere from $425 to around $1350 a month.

“That would be so nice if that would happen,” said Ghosh.

The project director says they will also seek funding from the county and state to help. But if plans are approved, construction could start in 18 months.

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