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?

  • Max Greenberg
    signed 2015-12-03 08:44:08 -0800
    Worthy goals. I will help spread the word.
  • Rachael Shepherd
    signed 2015-12-03 08:39:35 -0800
  • Saumyaa Saumyaa
    signed 2015-12-03 08:29:28 -0800
    I work at Stanford and its impossible to live closeby and not having to commute to work because of the rent situation in Palo Alto.
  • Laura Soriano
    signed 2015-12-03 08:21:31 -0800
  • Maureece Levin
    @ReecieLevin tweeted link to this page. 2015-12-03 07:47:12 -0800
    Join with me to support more housing and transportation options in Palo Alto!
  • Maureece Levin
    signed 2015-12-03 07:45:29 -0800
    I am a Stanford postdoc, and while I would love to live in the community where I work, I live in Redwood City because it is just financially unfeasible to live in Palo Alto. Please consider making affordable housing for all a priority.
  • Ami Okada
    signed 2015-12-03 07:42:17 -0800
    It has become unaffordable for not only single students, but middle income families too!
  • Levi Armlovich
    signed 2015-12-03 06:32:53 -0800
    My wife works at Stanford but we live in Redwood City because we cannot afford to be closer to her work.
  • Monica Foster
    signed 2015-12-03 01:27:39 -0800
  • Peter Kohler
    signed 2015-12-03 00:59:55 -0800
  • Ted Sanders
    signed 2015-12-02 23:44:38 -0800
  • Sarah Longstreth
    signed 2015-12-02 23:41:55 -0800
  • Elizabeth Minno
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-12-02 23:33:08 -0800
    Join with me to support more housing and transportation options in Palo Alto!
  • Daniel Christoffel
    signed 2015-12-02 23:15:11 -0800
  • Jillian Shaw
    signed 2015-12-02 23:15:06 -0800
  • Sam Corbett-Davies
    signed 2015-12-02 23:00:34 -0800
  • Ziliang Ye
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-12-02 22:56:38 -0800
    Join with me to support more housing and transportation options in Palo Alto!
  • Jan-Renier Moonen
    signed 2015-12-02 22:50:25 -0800
  • Don Gourlie
    signed 2015-12-02 22:27:46 -0800
  • Chloe Girard
    signed 2015-12-02 22:22:12 -0800
  • Laurie King
    signed 2015-12-02 22:18:04 -0800
  • Margot Hess
    signed 2015-12-02 22:15:29 -0800
  • Daniela Berdnik
    signed 2015-12-02 22:03:32 -0800
  • Amir Marcovitz
    signed 2015-12-02 21:52:00 -0800
  • Hannes Roest
    signed 2015-12-02 21:47:13 -0800
  • Karen Mruk
    signed 2015-12-02 21:32:57 -0800
    I am a postdoc at Stanford and I can’t afford to live in any of the surrounding towns. Please consider making more affordable housing a priority.
  • Booseung Chang
    signed 2015-12-02 21:24:30 -0800
    The housing problem in Palo Alto in particular and the Silicon Valley in general is a serious problem. I hope the policy makers can do what they can do to help alleviate this problem. If we really want, we can do it.
  • Malaya Sahoo
    signed 2015-12-02 21:24:22 -0800
  • Suzanne Tamang
    signed 2015-12-02 21:19:33 -0800
  • Vincent McGinty
    signed 2015-12-02 21:10:36 -0800


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