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?

  • Jon Stoumen
    signed 2016-02-04 18:12:27 -0800
  • Samuel Bowman
    signed 2016-02-04 17:12:07 -0800
  • Brian Krippendorf
    signed 2016-02-03 21:25:58 -0800
  • Kellie Hoke
    signed 2016-02-03 21:16:10 -0800
  • Gerald Underdal
    signed 2016-02-03 06:24:20 -0800
  • Annete Isaacson
    signed 2016-02-02 17:18:48 -0800
    We should encourage building granny units for full time renters, not for Air B&Bers.
  • Cynthia Lee
    signed 2016-02-01 22:47:04 -0800
    The severity of the problem has reached such a level that this is no longer merely a policy crisis, but a moral and humanitarian one.
  • Cat Hendel
    signed 2016-02-01 22:10:59 -0800
  • Pradeep Madhavarapu
    signed 2016-02-01 19:03:35 -0800
  • Rohit Gandhe
    signed 2016-01-30 18:25:19 -0800
  • Priti Gangrade
    signed 2016-01-30 14:27:18 -0800
  • Annaduran Rajan
    signed 2016-01-30 12:56:30 -0800
  • Kanmani Rajan
    signed 2016-01-30 12:55:37 -0800
  • Afshin Partovi
    signed 2016-01-30 12:54:32 -0800
  • Emer Martin
    signed 2016-01-30 12:53:39 -0800
  • Erika Magagna
    signed 2016-01-30 12:51:32 -0800
  • Luke Oakson
    signed 2016-01-30 12:50:40 -0800
  • Constance Oakson
    signed 2016-01-30 12:49:50 -0800
  • Vangie Clendenin
    signed 2016-01-30 12:48:41 -0800
  • Randy Salim
    signed 2016-01-30 12:46:19 -0800
  • Jeremy Clark
    signed 2016-01-30 12:44:35 -0800
  • Donald Guinn
    signed 2016-01-29 19:52:05 -0800
  • Brian Guinn
    signed 2016-01-29 14:40:39 -0800
  • Brian Calbeck
    signed 2016-01-28 13:20:10 -0800
    Brian T Calbeck
  • Ben Joyce
    signed 2016-01-27 18:57:14 -0800
  • Ellen Chang
    signed 2016-01-27 16:45:34 -0800
  • Elizabeth Mulcahy-Morgan
    signed 2016-01-27 15:43:42 -0800
  • Eric Weigle
    signed 2016-01-27 14:07:14 -0800
    I lived in Palo Alto for 7 years, and watched the housing prices reach levels I could not dream of affording.
  • Ben Toll
    signed 2016-01-27 13:07:32 -0800
  • Jessica Moss
    signed 2016-01-27 10:39:50 -0800


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