New Affordable Housing Proposal

In Palo Alto, Summer break is officially over!  Kids are back in school and City Council has resumed weekly Monday meetings.  This Monday, August 28 at 6p, City Council has a study session with Palo Alto Housing, a local non-profit housing developer, about a proposal for new 100% affordable housing project at 3709 El Camino Real, at the corner of Wilton Avenue.  You can read the full staff report here, which includes preliminary plans for 61 one bedroom & studio units (for low income or developmentally disabled adults) and ground floor retail.

Study sessions are a chance for city council to provide feedback and direction on a proposal.  We were glad City Council set housing as a top priority earlier this year, so we are eager to hear what they have to say. Below is a note the Palo Alto Forward Board of Directors has sent to City Council.  If you’d like to tell council your thoughts, you can do one of two things:

  1. Attend the meeting August 28, 6p @ City Hall 250 Hamilton Avenue, and give public comment at the start of the meeting

  2. Write an email to [email protected] (and copy [email protected]) with your thoughts.  

 If you can’t attend, but want to watch the session live, City Council meetings are always available on Channel 26 at

Re:  August 28, 2017, Study Session re 3709 El Camino/Wilton - Affordable Housing Proposal

Dear Mayor Scharff and City Council Members,

In January you made housing a top priority for Palo Alto. On August 28th you have a chance to deliver on this priority.

You are being asked to give direction to Palo Alto Housing on a project that can provide affordable housing to more than 60 low-income and disabled residents. These are among our most housing challenged neighbors and many have waited for years to get the housing assistance for which they are eligible.

The staff report says clearly that this project meets all of the major goals of our Housing Element because they:

  • are 100% below market rate units

  • are on a major bus corridor that provides access to services (and is undergoing expansion)

  • provide a substantial number of new housing units (unlike many sites in the Housing Element)

We encourage you to remove all regulatory obstacles to this project and to make any zoning code and Comprehensive Plan changes necessary to optimize the economical development of this project for low-income individuals.  Please do not impose any requirements on the project that would jeopardize Palo Alto Housing’s ability to obtain financing or which would make the project economically infeasible.


Palo Alto Forward Board of Directors

  • Randy Mont-Reynaud
    commented 2017-08-25 09:40:21 -0700
    Don’t shoot – we are your grandparents.

    Yes, time has come to BUILD and provide.
    I’ve been a renter here for 38 years and have been on the PAHC housing list for 6.

    It seems that units only open up when someone passes on; the system seems like “reserving your casket,” or burial plot in advance.

    Units that are BMR supposedly require a good deal of assets and or income to pay hefty Association fees. That’s a huge hardship for those on fixed and limited incomes – especially those that do not have children, wealthy children, in the area who provide for parents and save on airfare…(That’s how it strikes me, when I see who gets “in” who qualifies, etc.)

    I’m planning to attend the program on August 28


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