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!


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?

  • Marina Angelova
    signed 2016-03-17 11:30:47 -0700
  • Adrienne Lee
    signed 2016-03-17 09:28:08 -0700
  • Charles Jr. Clark
    signed 2016-03-16 19:12:39 -0700
    I used to be a Palo Alto resident. I’d have liked to stay, but could not afford it. I moved to Redwood City and now that is also starting to get too expensive.
  • Elliot Margolies
    signed 2016-03-16 09:17:56 -0700
    Elliot Margolies
  • Rebecca Griner
    signed 2016-03-15 20:26:00 -0700
  • Clark Akatiff
    signed 2016-03-15 18:00:12 -0700
  • Jon Kiya
    signed 2016-03-15 15:45:13 -0700
  • Heidi Yenney
    signed 2016-03-15 13:09:20 -0700
  • Sarah Goodman
    signed 2016-03-15 12:54:14 -0700
    incentivize second stories and guest houses to rent maybe? offer low interest loans?
  • Jennifer Gonsalves
    signed 2016-03-15 12:47:24 -0700
  • Patrick Thill
    signed 2016-03-15 12:44:58 -0700
    I love the progress that Palo Alto has been making to become a more walkable and bikeable community, but for anyone to make use of it they have to be able to afford to live in palo alto! Building more housing can reduce traffic in the long run.
  • Clayton Dodds
    signed 2016-03-14 13:42:10 -0700
  • Manu Sridharan
    signed 2016-03-14 11:54:02 -0700
  • Elizabeth Lasky
    signed 2016-03-14 10:52:19 -0700
    We’ve had enough long commutes, residents edged out, and homelessness. Let housing supply meet demand already!
  • Charles Buchanan
    signed 2016-03-14 10:23:48 -0700
    Please publish comments when you submit your petition. I commend PAF for putting issues into public debate and your petition opens the door for anyone to “weigh in”. However, your goal to gather opinion needs a clear ground rule. If I as a “member” of PAF, want to submit a different or slightly different opinion, then how will my voice be presented to the Council and public.
  • Andrew Boone
    signed 2016-03-14 10:20:43 -0700
  • Yung Luy Hing
    signed via 2016-03-11 09:44:43 -0800
  • Amy Agigian
    signed 2016-03-10 17:48:21 -0800
  • Barbara Swenson
    signed 2016-03-10 15:46:20 -0800
    Barbara p swenson
  • Melissa Leary
    signed 2016-03-10 15:36:22 -0800
    We also need to extend the College Terrace Parking Permit program to Evergreen
  • Eric Mayer
    signed 2016-03-10 15:12:36 -0800
    I am not a rat!
  • Marion MacGillivray
    signed 2016-03-10 13:41:26 -0800
  • Deborah Goldeen
    signed 2016-03-10 09:14:42 -0800
    Rats and cockroaches live by the law of supply and demand. To live by the laws of justice and mercy is the privilege of being human.
  • Thomas Wasow
    signed 2016-03-10 08:23:28 -0800
    The most pressing housing need is affordability. The city needs to do more to create low-income housing. This could be facilitated by allowing high-rise building in selected locations.
  • Roma Xavier
    signed 2016-03-10 06:52:29 -0800
    Save Mountain View
  • Robert Blount
    signed 2016-03-09 23:54:24 -0800
    One of the reasons I decided to move to New York city was because the rents in suburban Palo Alto were higher than in the city of New York.
  • Carol Lamont
    signed 2016-03-09 22:56:09 -0800
    Residents of Palo Alto and beyond are facing serious displacement and traffic congestion due to Palo Alto’s poor policy decisions that have created the jobs-housing imbalance. Serious actions must be taken soon to reverse course and create a significant number of new homes, including a large percentage of which must be affordable to low and moderate-income families and adults, including seniors and those with disabilities. I am deeply ashamed of our City’s lack of values and the poor planning that has created this crisis.
  • Ian Mallace
    signed 2016-03-07 11:43:10 -0800
  • Ella Herbert
    signed 2016-03-06 19:43:55 -0800
  • Carlos Galvez
    signed 2016-03-06 19:43:02 -0800


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