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?

  • Veronica Gonzalez Munoz
    signed 2015-12-02 21:10:07 -0800
  • Paul Benjamin
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-12-02 21:08:44 -0800
    Join with me to support more housing and transportation options in Palo Alto!
  • Paul Hoerbelt
    signed 2015-12-02 21:07:43 -0800
    I am a Stanford postdoc and was priced out of Palo Alto. I wholeheartedly support this petition to allow workers the opportunity to live (much) closer to work, which will bolster the local economy and preserve personal health and safety.
  • Steven Baker
    signed 2015-12-02 21:07:35 -0800
  • Ganesh Pusapati
    signed 2015-12-02 20:59:35 -0800
    Please take measures so that housing becomes more affordable to low wage earning talented and highly qualified individuals
  • Nancy Shepherd
    signed 2015-12-02 20:45:43 -0800
  • David Garcia
    signed 2015-12-02 20:20:48 -0800
  • Heiner Litz
    signed 2015-12-02 20:20:13 -0800
  • Ozzie Aery Fallick
    signed 2015-12-02 20:18:05 -0800
  • Justen Manasa
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-12-02 20:08:31 -0800
    Join with me to support more housing and transportation options in Palo Alto!
  • Justen Manasa
    @jmanasa tweeted link to this page. 2015-12-02 20:08:28 -0800
    Join with me to support more housing and transportation options in Palo Alto!
  • Justen Manasa
    signed 2015-12-02 20:06:49 -0800
  • Sophie Roman
    signed 2015-12-02 20:05:04 -0800
  • Marguerite DeLiema
    signed 2015-12-02 20:04:50 -0800
    We need rent controlled units too!
  • Amrapali Zaveri
    signed 2015-12-02 20:01:45 -0800
  • Gernot Kaber
    signed 2015-12-02 19:56:39 -0800
  • Hiroshi Yamaguchi
    signed 2015-12-02 19:55:12 -0800
  • venkata raveendra pothineni
    signed 2015-12-02 19:53:47 -0800
  • Raven Jiang
    signed 2015-12-02 19:53:17 -0800
  • Cyprien Soulaine
    signed 2015-12-02 19:52:22 -0800
  • Haodi Wu
    signed 2015-12-02 19:51:38 -0800
  • Natalie Zahr
    signed 2015-12-02 19:50:15 -0800
  • Jane Vaden
    signed 2015-12-02 17:36:36 -0800
  • Zach Tomaszewski
    signed 2015-12-02 15:54:05 -0800
  • Evan Goldin 🅿️🥑
    signed 2015-12-02 15:40:49 -0800
    As my fiancé and I search for housing in Palo Alto, it’s becoming increasingly clear that this born-and-raised Palo Altan may no longer be able to afford living here. It’s just too expensive, because (A) we are fortunate to have a very strong economy/high quality of life and (B) the city has refused to allow housing to grow in tandem with jobs.

    I strongly urge the Council to stop worrying so much about the tiny number of NIMBYs that pop up to oppose any kind of development, and listen to the wider majority of us who want to be able to stay in Palo Alto. We support denser housing, especially near transit, and we support walkable communities. Please embrace this vision, it’s the only way we native sons and daughters, without winning the lotto (whether tech or real) can stay here.
  • Devin Witherspoon
    signed 2015-12-02 14:42:48 -0800
    Recently moved from Palo Alto to Menlo Park in part due to housing cost.
  • Rebecca Wolpinsky
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-12-02 12:03:34 -0800
    Join with me to support more housing and transportation options in Palo Alto!
  • Rebecca Wolpinsky
    @BecInTheWild tweeted link to this page. 2015-12-02 12:03:30 -0800
    Join with me to support more housing and transportation options in Palo Alto!
  • David Terrell
    signed 2015-12-02 12:02:02 -0800
  • Rebecca Wolpinsky
    signed 2015-12-02 12:01:49 -0800


get updates