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?

  • Lindsay Walker
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-12-03 20:16:50 -0800
    Join with me to support more housing and transportation options in Palo Alto!
  • Lindsay Walker
    signed 2015-12-03 20:16:19 -0800
  • James Murray
    signed 2015-12-03 18:31:12 -0800
  • Pratyush Gupta
    signed 2015-12-03 17:00:15 -0800
  • Theresa Chen
    signed 2015-12-03 16:20:56 -0800
  • Suzanne Liu
    signed 2015-12-03 15:01:02 -0800
  • Natalia Gomez
    signed 2015-12-03 14:55:22 -0800
  • Paula Collins
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-12-03 14:43:17 -0800
    Join with me to support more housing and transportation options in Palo Alto!
  • Paula Collins
    signed 2015-12-03 14:42:31 -0800
  • Eric Grossman
    signed 2015-12-03 13:57:35 -0800
  • Christine Lingblom
    signed 2015-12-03 13:07:24 -0800
  • Veronica Tincher
    signed 2015-12-03 12:22:35 -0800
  • Sallie Tasto
    signed 2015-12-03 12:17:50 -0800
  • Merritt Maduke
    signed 2015-12-03 11:58:22 -0800
  • Sandy Sloan
    signed 2015-12-03 11:41:31 -0800
  • Rakesh Bam
    signed 2015-12-03 11:40:41 -0800
  • Steven Murray
    signed 2015-12-03 11:05:07 -0800
  • Viola Caretti
    signed 2015-12-03 11:04:52 -0800
  • Amanda Sterkel
    signed 2015-12-03 11:02:54 -0800
  • Jason Schwarz
    signed 2015-12-03 10:43:25 -0800
  • Szuyuan Pu
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-12-03 10:37:34 -0800
    Join with me to support more housing and transportation options in Palo Alto!
  • Jennifer Rajbhandari
    signed 2015-12-03 10:24:09 -0800
  • Whitney Heavner
    signed 2015-12-03 10:19:45 -0800
  • Jingyan Wu
    signed 2015-12-03 10:16:30 -0800
    I work at Stanford and have to live nearby due to work duties. The rent in Palo Alto is ridiculously high. I won’t be able to afford to live here if my spouse doesn’t work ,or if we have a baby in the future. Please consider.
  • Stephen Emslie
    signed 2015-12-03 10:05:32 -0800
  • Baldwin Cheng
    signed 2015-12-03 09:38:43 -0800
  • Polina Minkovski
    signed 2015-12-03 09:35:16 -0800
  • Biter Bilen
    signed 2015-12-03 09:19:01 -0800
  • Gernot Neumayer
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-12-03 08:49:05 -0800
    Join with me to support more housing and transportation options in Palo Alto!
  • Gernot Neumayer
    signed 2015-12-03 08:47:29 -0800
    Working at Stanford and have to live in close proximity due to job duties (which I will have to take somewhere else once babies are in the picture). Rent in Palo Alto is ridiculous and forces people into insane living arrangements. E.g. one of my neighbors is living with wife, baby and 2 in-laws in a studio (Obviously not able to afford a bigger place and/or daycare)!! One cause of this rent-problem is certainly the high salary some people here make (e.g. Googlers, Facebookers etc.), motivating landlords to try and get a piece of the cake. Not saying people should earn less, but the city has to realize that not everyone who makes up a healthy community is able to get to such a high income. Unless Palo Alto wants to rename itself into “Facebook-ville”, and buy its groceries from a robot instead of a check out clerk, or its Friday evening beer from a lifeless machine instead a bartender, something has to be done…


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