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?

  • thomas brosnan
    signed 2016-02-11 08:50:55 -0800
    thomas brosnan
  • Christina Kawamura
    signed 2016-02-11 08:26:14 -0800
    Being a part of this wonderful community has been a blessing. This is a wonderful idea. I am a new mother and I dread the idea of having to move, let alone settling in an unsafe location to afford rent. My husband and I want to make Palo Alto our home for many generations to come.
  • Gerry Mack
    signed 2016-02-11 08:25:25 -0800
  • Vivian Feng
    signed 2016-02-11 00:00:45 -0800
  • Eva Glasrud
    signed 2016-02-10 23:38:58 -0800
  • Margaret Allen
    signed 2016-02-10 21:01:44 -0800
  • Nan Lu
    signed 2016-02-10 20:42:07 -0800
  • Christine Ashley
    signed 2016-02-10 20:19:25 -0800
    I’ve seen and felt what a warm friendly city this use to be from 1961, but it has drifted far from that. It would be a positive move if some of that feeling came back into this city. Use to be you felt like you belonged here. Sadly not anymore.
  • Betty Spilker
    signed 2016-02-10 19:09:45 -0800
  • Janette Herecg
    signed 2016-02-10 19:00:57 -0800
  • Michelle bailey
    signed 2016-02-10 18:56:20 -0800
  • Ray Wilson
    signed 2016-02-10 17:05:18 -0800
  • Bob Wenzlau
    signed 2016-02-10 16:35:59 -0800
  • Jim Fox
    signed 2016-02-07 20:12:37 -0800
  • Kanan Bose
    signed 2016-02-07 19:45:42 -0800
  • Seyon Verdtzabella
    signed 2016-02-07 14:06:56 -0800
  • Nancy Verdtzabella
    signed 2016-02-07 13:58:56 -0800
  • Roger Pai
    signed 2016-02-07 13:57:05 -0800
  • Theresa Nguyen
    signed 2016-02-07 13:55:36 -0800
  • Diego Besprosvan
    signed 2016-02-07 13:54:24 -0800
  • Matt Dowle
    signed 2016-02-07 13:53:15 -0800
  • Fiona Dowle
    signed 2016-02-07 13:52:35 -0800
  • John Oakson
    signed 2016-02-07 13:51:55 -0800
  • Dina Saari
    signed 2016-02-07 12:32:18 -0800
  • Efim Braverman
    signed 2016-02-07 12:19:54 -0800
  • Tatyana Braverman
    signed 2016-02-07 12:18:48 -0800
  • Matuey Nakhimovsky
    signed 2016-02-07 12:17:04 -0800
  • Tahani Sury
    signed 2016-02-07 12:15:53 -0800
  • Stephanie Arevalo
    signed 2016-02-07 12:14:17 -0800
  • Jon Gil
    signed 2016-02-07 12:13:34 -0800


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