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?

  • Sally Wood
    signed 2016-03-19 22:53:22 -0700
  • Bret Scofield
    signed 2016-03-19 22:51:22 -0700
  • Sam Blackshear
    signed 2016-03-19 22:50:37 -0700
  • Matt Smith
    signed 2016-03-19 22:49:57 -0700
  • Ann Cullen
    signed 2016-03-19 22:49:09 -0700
  • Janice Sedriks
    signed 2016-03-19 22:48:18 -0700
  • Alexsandra Beasley
    signed 2016-03-19 22:47:02 -0700
  • Mac Beasley
    signed 2016-03-19 22:45:48 -0700
  • May Yeh
    signed 2016-03-19 22:45:06 -0700
  • Kumiko Yoshinari
    signed 2016-03-19 22:44:31 -0700
  • Vie Reville
    signed 2016-03-19 22:43:49 -0700
  • Ryan Cooke
    signed 2016-03-19 22:43:08 -0700
  • Carey Simms
    signed 2016-03-19 22:42:31 -0700
  • Matthew Johnson
    signed 2016-03-19 22:41:48 -0700
  • Graceann Johnson
    signed 2016-03-19 22:40:53 -0700
  • Sandra Molina
    signed 2016-03-19 22:40:12 -0700
  • Louise Michler
    signed 2016-03-19 22:38:22 -0700
  • Rachel Wright
    signed 2016-03-19 22:37:00 -0700
  • Theo Swell
    signed 2016-03-19 22:36:11 -0700
  • Gordan Gibbs
    signed 2016-03-19 22:35:14 -0700
  • David Gee
    signed 2016-03-19 22:33:52 -0700
  • Barbara Kingsley
    signed 2016-03-19 18:14:08 -0700
  • Michele Miller
    signed 2016-03-18 22:51:31 -0700
  • Lisa Peckler
    signed 2016-03-18 16:53:52 -0700
  • Susan Tan
    signed 2016-03-18 15:58:14 -0700
    Susan Tan
  • Noemi Ramirez
    signed 2016-03-18 11:13:10 -0700
  • Daisy Rodriguez Betancourt
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-03-17 20:21:44 -0700
    Join with me to support more housing and transportation options in Palo Alto!
  • Petya Georgieva
    signed via 2016-03-17 14:54:45 -0700
    My family really hopes that the City of Palo Alto will build more affordable units for it’ s long time residents that are already established part of this community! We are paying rent for many years with constant worries about increases and availability, We have kids in the PAUSD, we give volunteer hours and help when is needed in schools,after-school activities, and community events.We shop here, sigh kids for lessons and sports, eat around here and support the local economy! We deserve our voice to be heard, and something to be done soon and effectively !
  • Kathy Johnson
    signed 2016-03-17 13:47:27 -0700
    Housing is a real-world concern of all older adults. I hope this petition allows their voice to be heard at a local level.
  • Daniel Dulitz
    signed 2016-03-17 12:28:25 -0700
    It’s time for residential growth in Palo Alto. We’ve delayed for many years, while we’ve expanded office space. The whole Bay Area is suffering from this imbalance. Palo Alto has great places for residential growth: walkable communities with good access to public transit where you don’t have to own a car. Let’s grow in those places.


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