Urban Habitat and Congregations Organizing for Renewal (COR) are working to address housing challenges across the city of Fremont. Although the majority of homes in Fremont are owner-occupied, over 37% of households are rentals, and the proportion has been steadily increasing. In line with national and regional trends, renter households in Fremont disproportionately contain lower-income residents and people of color. Renters in the city face many of the challenges that renters across the nation increasingly face, as described in “Rise of the Renter Nation: Solutions to the Housing Affordability Crisis.”

The average rent in Fremont increased 50% between 2000-13, and almost 30% since 2010 alone. Over one third of renter households in the city pay more than 30% of their income towards rent, the standard for determining affordability. The situation is much worse for low-income households. For these residents, the cost of housing is unsustainable and forces difficult choices between overcrowding, cutting spending on other necessities, or being displaced.

Urban Habitat and COR believe that while construction of affordable housing is a necessary medium and long-term goal, rent stabilization will give critical short-term relief to renters facing out-of-control rents and the threat of eviction. The campaign will first pressure the city to establish a rent stabilization task force to explore more deeply the situation of renters in the city and generate policy recommendations. We are committed to ensuring that the voices of low-income communities and communities of color are not just heard, but become an integral component of policy making and implementation.