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?

  • Benjamin Shaibu
    signed 2015-12-02 11:28:52 -0800
  • Ellen Uhrbrock
    signed 2015-12-02 11:03:57 -0800
    Palo Alto’s Comprehensive Plan has a Housing Element that includes approximately 30% of the city’s population – seniors and homeless.

    You can participate in the discussions by the CAC (Citizens Advisory Committee for the Comp Plan) and meetings of the City Council. You can support senior and homeless housing in person and on-line through the Digital Commenter on “Palo Alto Open City Hall.”
  • Stephanie Accorinti
    signed 2015-12-02 08:55:26 -0800
    I commute up to three hours per day because rent prices are unreal in Palo Alto, where I work.
  • Mary Jo Levy
    signed 2015-12-02 08:54:32 -0800
  • Joshua Griffin
    signed 2015-12-02 07:10:55 -0800
  • Laura Fingal-Surma🥑
    signed via 2015-12-02 00:08:17 -0800
  • Phyllis C. Cassel
    signed 2015-12-01 22:47:52 -0800
  • Henry Joy
    signed 2015-12-01 21:18:41 -0800
  • Fedor Manin
    signed 2015-12-01 20:27:08 -0800
    I have not lived in Palo Alto in a few years, but I grew up there and the city is dear to me. I would, however, like it to shed its allegiance to a particular built form and be a little — nay, much! — more open to new development. Perhaps I would even move back :P
  • Megan Fogarty
    signed 2015-12-01 20:02:19 -0800
  • Shilpi Sanghi
    signed 2015-12-01 18:09:35 -0800
  • Zhicheng Yan
    signed 2015-12-01 18:02:58 -0800
  • fred glick
    signed 2015-12-01 16:11:05 -0800
  • Marcello Golfieri
    signed 2015-12-01 15:54:27 -0800
    Had to move out because ALL my friends in PA had to relocate… Saddest feeling
  • Greg O'Connor
    signed 2015-12-01 14:03:52 -0800
  • Gustav Brodman
    signed 2015-12-01 13:26:17 -0800
  • Courtney Boudreau
    signed 2015-12-01 13:23:55 -0800
  • Jerry Chen
    signed 2015-12-01 13:00:19 -0800
  • Rachel Neubert
    signed 2015-12-01 12:54:02 -0800
  • Tushar Narayan
    signed 2015-12-01 12:46:22 -0800
  • Kaushik Iska
    signed 2015-12-01 12:45:06 -0800
  • Michael Cohen
    signed 2015-12-01 11:57:04 -0800
  • Gabriel Rosen
    signed 2015-12-01 11:56:37 -0800
  • Zachary Bush
    signed 2015-12-01 11:22:36 -0800
    Former Palo Alto resident who can no longer afford to live there. Spill over into Menlo Park is already driving rents up here as well.
  • Tammy Pham
    signed 2015-12-01 10:59:10 -0800
  • Sheila Melvin
    signed 2015-12-01 10:57:50 -0800
  • Matt Bango
    signed 2015-12-01 10:12:03 -0800
  • Tracy Stewart
    signed 2015-12-01 09:44:08 -0800
  • Cody Austin
    signed 2015-12-01 09:27:39 -0800
  • Maureen Gaj
    signed 2015-12-01 09:24:04 -0800


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