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?

  • Edward Geise
    signed 2016-05-15 23:13:30 -0700
  • Eva Milgrom
    signed 2016-05-15 23:11:30 -0700
  • Nalan Lem
    signed 2016-05-15 23:07:31 -0700
  • Sadie Weber
    signed 2016-05-15 23:06:22 -0700
  • Bill Lichtenberg
    signed 2016-05-15 23:05:28 -0700
  • Phyllis Klein
    signed 2016-05-15 23:04:32 -0700
  • Leonard Weisberg
    signed 2016-05-15 23:03:23 -0700
  • Yushi Wang
    signed 2016-05-15 23:02:15 -0700
  • Damiele Arsac
    signed 2016-05-15 23:01:14 -0700
  • Stephanie Enos
    signed 2016-05-15 22:59:46 -0700
  • Robert O'Connor
    signed 2016-05-15 22:58:35 -0700
  • Dave Shafer
    signed 2016-05-15 22:57:08 -0700
  • Patricia Saffir
    signed 2016-05-15 21:23:31 -0700
  • Autumn Albers
    signed 2016-05-15 14:24:55 -0700
  • Steven Crane
    signed 2016-05-15 12:54:46 -0700
    Steven Crane
  • Callen Rain
    signed 2016-05-12 22:51:45 -0700
  • Elana Katyal
    signed 2016-05-12 22:11:27 -0700
  • Jeralyn Moran
    signed 2016-05-12 15:59:31 -0700
  • Ken Joye
    signed 2016-05-04 15:28:07 -0700
    I support denser housing adjacent to transit
  • Brian Hill
    signed via 2016-04-22 21:56:59 -0700
    Please do something soon. We should share our wonderful community with more people.
  • Justine Sarmiento
    signed via 2016-04-22 11:54:57 -0700
  • Eric Garcia
    signed via 2016-04-22 11:21:12 -0700
    I have lived in the Bay Area my whole life and I’ve seen the landscape change into “silicon valley”. Housing in SF is expensive, but at least they have 15$ an hour. Our housing is more expensive but we’re still stuck at 9$. We need rent control ASAP.
  • Dakota Baker
    signed via 2016-04-22 09:22:37 -0700
  • Sutton Howard
    signed via 2016-04-22 06:43:33 -0700
  • Daisy Rosalez
    signed via 2016-04-21 21:46:41 -0700
  • Nicholas Shafer
    signed 2016-04-21 21:23:34 -0700
    Nicholas Shafer
  • Laura Jablonski
    signed 2016-04-19 10:47:25 -0700
  • Joyce Beattie
    signed 2016-04-17 23:35:47 -0700
    Joyce Beattie
  • Anita Lusebrink
    signed 2016-04-15 17:27:40 -0700
  • Joseph Ellis
    signed 2016-04-14 12:41:46 -0700


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