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?

  • 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!
  • Jessica Oakson Clark
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-11-30 07:47:09 -0800
    Join with me to support more housing and transportation options in Palo Alto!
  • Melanie Cross
    signed via 2015-11-29 11:47:27 -0800
  • Alex Lee
    signed 2015-11-28 17:00:21 -0800
    Most of my colleagues at Stanford, postdocs, scientist and research associates, who would otherwise appreciate the convenience of biking to work are being pushed out further into different cities. Theirs solution most the time is to live further and drive. Please consider the academics as well, thanks!
  • Steve Pierce
    signed 2015-11-25 21:28:32 -0800
    City should create incentives for the development of:

    – Rental housing

    – Small units

    – High density in transportation corridors and employment centers (e.g., Stanford Research Park)

    City Council should recognize that PA is the unofficial capital of the most vibrant economy in perhaps the world and that they should abandon their desire that there be no change. Time for creative and bold solutions in a city that prides itself on leading edge thinking. The NIMBY attitude is for those who cannot tolerate change or do not have the imagination to grasp tomorrow.
  • Sarah Kernasovskiy
    signed 2015-11-25 20:56:30 -0800
  • Windy Orviss
    signed 2015-11-25 19:19:34 -0800
    We were pushed out of our downtown Palo Alto home because of high rent we could no longer afford with our single income (I’m a stay at home mom with 2 kids). In order to stay nearby my husbands work we chose to move to EPA with the hope of returning to the town we love.
  • Joy Sleizer
    signed 2015-11-25 18:46:45 -0800
  • Lynn Huidekoper
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-11-25 18:22:13 -0800
    I want Palo Alto to build attractive studio units similar to the ones built in Sunnyvale for low income and homeless.
  • Lynn Huidekoper
    signed 2015-11-25 18:15:06 -0800
    We have a housing crisis with a lack of a sufficient number of affordable housing for young tech workers all the way to the homeless, some of whom have jobs and many who don’t. Some are living in their cars because of the high rents., including Stanford students. We need to change the zoning provisions in order to encourage better use of available options including the construction of low income, BMR, very low income housing to prevent more homelessness esp. of vulnerable seniors.
  • Greg Kinman
    signed via 2015-11-25 17:32:16 -0800
  • Sarah Bell
    signed 2015-11-25 15:35:19 -0800
  • Ilya Nepomnyashchiy
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-11-25 14:51:08 -0800
    I want Palo Alto to be a place where more than just wealthy Tech workers can afford to live. Don't you?
  • Ilya Nepomnyashchiy
    @ilyanep tweeted link to this page. 2015-11-25 14:51:04 -0800
    I want Palo Alto to be a place where more than just wealthy Tech workers can afford to live. Don't you?
  • Ilya Nepomnyashchiy
    signed 2015-11-25 14:49:40 -0800
  • Jaap Weel
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-11-25 14:37:23 -0800
    I want Palo Alto to build more housing.
  • Jaap Weel
    signed 2015-11-25 14:36:28 -0800
  • Paul Goldstein
    signed 2015-11-25 13:34:51 -0800
  • Steven Rice
    signed 2015-11-25 12:03:12 -0800
    I very much want to stay a Palo Alto resident, but that is becoming impossible.
  • Elizabeth Ratner
    signed 2015-11-25 11:14:33 -0800
  • Peter Drekmeier
    signed 2015-11-25 07:49:03 -0800
  • Alice Smith
    posted about this on Facebook 2015-11-24 23:31:32 -0800
    I want Palo Alto...
  • Alice Smith
  • Alice Smith
    signed 2015-11-24 23:30:43 -0800
    Housing is essential in this community.
  • Bonnie Packer
    signed 2015-11-24 20:11:36 -0800
  • Lanie Wheeler
    signed 2015-11-24 16:21:50 -0800
  • Richard Liu
    signed 2015-11-24 14:40:03 -0800
  • Bret Andersen
    signed 2015-11-24 14:29:42 -0800
  • Sheryl Klein
    signed 2015-11-24 12:15:26 -0800
  • Michael Anderson
    signed 2015-11-24 10:51:04 -0800


get updates