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?

  • Arnaud Dusser
    signed 2015-11-30 16:21:21 -0800
  • Betsy Bechtel
    signed 2015-11-30 16:20:11 -0800
    I am a former mayor and council member, Palo Alto
  • Terry Trumbull
    signed 2015-11-30 15:47:17 -0800
  • Heather Carrie
    signed via 2015-11-30 15:10:33 -0800
  • Missy Reller
    signed 2015-11-30 15:03:00 -0800
  • Jennifer Keller
    signed via 2015-11-30 14:15:24 -0800
  • Jean Libby
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-11-30 14:04:29 -0800
    Join with me to support more housing and transportation options in Palo Alto!
  • Jean Libby
    signed 2015-11-30 14:04:12 -0800
  • Suzie Scher
    signed via 2015-11-30 13:57:35 -0800
  • Urs Hoelzle
    signed 2015-11-30 13:47:23 -0800
  • stephen reller
    signed 2015-11-30 13:36:32 -0800
  • Nia Taylor
    signed 2015-11-30 13:18:34 -0800
  • Shawn Owen
    signed via 2015-11-30 13:14:31 -0800
  • Patricia Lewis
    signed 2015-11-30 12:56:49 -0800
    Thanks Diane!
  • Kent Mather
    signed 2015-11-30 12:38:47 -0800
  • Gary Fine
    signed via 2015-11-30 12:36:28 -0800
  • Joseph Baldwin
    signed 2015-11-30 12:13:02 -0800
  • Marcus Ismael
    signed via 2015-11-30 12:11:09 -0800
  • Bob McGrew
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-11-30 12:03:20 -0800
    Join with me to support more housing and transportation options in Palo Alto!
  • Brian Hanlon 🥑
    signed 2015-11-30 11:57:04 -0800
    Palo Alto needs to build more homes to support its increasing number of workers. Let’s stop displacement, runaway rental price increases, and long commutes, build housing now!
  • Victoria Velkoff
    signed 2015-11-30 11:47:45 -0800
  • Rafael Solari
    signed via 2015-11-30 11:41:17 -0800
    I grew up in Palo Alto in the 90s/00s. I’ve since been priced out. The Bay Area isn’t building enough housing for my generation to stay here.

    All cities in the region need to do their part to make room for future generations.
  • Michael Ege
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-11-30 11:34:50 -0800
    Join with me to support more housing and transportation options in Palo Alto!
  • Michael Ege
    signed 2015-11-30 11:34:34 -0800
  • kyu young kim
    signed 2015-11-30 11:11:09 -0800
  • Stuart Bernstein
    signed 2015-11-30 11:10:44 -0800
  • Owen Byrd
    signed 2015-11-30 11:09:57 -0800
  • David Solnick
    signed 2015-11-30 11:06:37 -0800
  • Marc Grinberg
    signed 2015-11-30 11:05:33 -0800
  • Samuel Bowman
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-11-30 11:05:10 -0800
    Join with me to support more housing and transportation options in Palo Alto!


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