Fix Palo Alto's Housing Crisis!

Please join eight former Mayors and over 1000 community members in asking City Council to exercise leadership and address Palo Alto's housing shortage now!

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1,353 SIGNATURES
1,500 signatures

The cost of living in Palo Alto has skyrocketed. As a result, we are seeing long-time neighbors move because they can no longer afford the rent. It is not unusual for Palo Alto workers to commute in from areas as far as Stockton, Gilroy, and Tracy, putting severe strain on our roads and our climate. We are on the path to being a city composed only of long-time landowners and wealthy newcomers.

This situation is the result of city policies that have discouraged new housing while encouraging more office space. As a result, Palo Alto has the nation’s highest median rent and the region’s highest jobs-to-housing ratio. City Council has taken measures to address the jobs side of the equation by limiting office growth. Now, it is time to address the housing side of the equation.

A true fix will require a long-term focus and deep commitment; we believe, though, that we can maintain the character of our community while making changes to alleviate this imbalance. Council can show leadership by crafting policy to achieve the following goals:

1. Encourage construction of more studio apartments and other naturally affordable smaller units. 

2. Encourage buildings composed of apartments and condos over ground-floor retail. Current policy requires developers to build office space into any new four-story building in a commercial district.

3. Make it easier for homeowners to build second units on their property, especially to accommodate multiple-generation households and caretakers.

4. Allow car-light and car-free housing in walkable, transit-accessible areas for residents who are able to not own a car.

5. Facilitate the development of new senior housing, including alternative models such as co-housing, home sharing, and mixed-use senior communities with retail and services.

We ask the City Council to plan for more housing so that Palo Alto can be the community of opportunity it has historically been: a family-friendly city that welcomed interesting thinkers and doers of all ages and all incomes.  Many of the above ideas were implemented successfully in Palo Alto’s South of Forest (SOFA) plan.  We know that this can be done!

To find out more see our blog post.

Will you sign?

  • signed 2017-10-30 22:36:21 -0700
    Please add me to your list and slide deck! I thought I had signed before but didn’t see my name on the list tonight. I am for this all the way.
  • signed 2017-10-25 13:32:48 -0700
    Roberta Ahlquist

    We need low-income rental housing for our workers and to balance the social class divide that currently exists
  • signed 2017-09-18 18:41:49 -0700
  • signed 2017-09-17 09:59:12 -0700
  • signed 2017-09-13 22:26:37 -0700
  • signed 2017-08-25 10:03:34 -0700
    Don’t shoot – we are your grandparents.


    Yes, time has come to BUILD and provide.

    I’ve been a renter here for 38 years and have been on the PAHC housing list for 6+.


    It seems that units only open up when someone passes on; the system seems like “reserving your casket,” or burial plot in advance.


    Units that are BMR supposedly require a good deal of assets and or income to pay hefty Association fees. That’s a huge hardship for those on fixed and limited incomes – especially those that do not have children, wealthy children, in the area who provide for parents and save on airfare…(That’s how it strikes me, when I see who gets “in” who qualifies, etc.)


    Please know that I can document that there has been some deception in obtaining BMR unit at Rickey’s Way, 2006-7.


    I’m planning to attend the program on August 28


  • signed 2017-07-20 16:46:47 -0700
  • signed 2017-05-03 11:07:26 -0700
  • signed 2017-03-18 20:54:04 -0700
  • signed 2017-03-02 13:48:05 -0800
  • signed via 2017-01-30 10:21:09 -0800
  • signed via 2017-01-30 06:24:16 -0800
  • signed 2017-01-29 23:43:48 -0800
  • signed 2016-11-26 11:15:53 -0800
  • signed 2016-10-10 00:10:39 -0700
  • signed via 2016-09-15 10:52:12 -0700
  • signed via 2016-09-15 09:45:44 -0700
  • signed 2016-09-08 07:32:19 -0700
    Even as a current homeowner who appreciates the increase in the value of my home, I support this strongly.
  • signed 2016-08-30 22:28:01 -0700
  • signed 2016-08-30 09:58:08 -0700
  • signed 2016-08-29 09:34:40 -0700
  • signed 2016-08-25 12:04:29 -0700
    I grew up in Greenmeadow, off of Charleston, educated through the Palo Alto Unified School system. I have loved the town and appreciate the gift of having grown up in Palo Alto… in the past.
  • signed 2016-08-22 19:47:51 -0700
  • signed 2016-08-17 22:38:23 -0700
    Asma Rabbani
  • signed 2016-08-17 16:29:08 -0700
    Rosemarie Giamalis
  • signed 2016-08-16 13:02:33 -0700
  • signed 2016-08-16 06:12:43 -0700
  • signed 2016-08-15 15:10:20 -0700
    I live in Sunnyvale and work in Redwood City. This spring I looked for a place but had trouble finding housing in Redwood City because the prices were too high, partly because the prices in neighboring Menlo Park and Palo Alto are so high.
  • signed 2016-08-15 13:19:09 -0700
    I worked in Palo Alto for several years, it would be my favorite place to live and raise my son (and work) if only it were more affordable.
  • signed 2016-08-14 22:01:10 -0700

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