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Opinion: Renters need a broad coalition to unite

Original post made on Aug 8, 2022

Like 46% of Palo Alto's population, I am a renter. I believe that collaborative solutions are desperately needed to help, assist and elevate what is being done for the rental community to thrive.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, August 8, 2022, 11:37 AM

Comments (105)

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2022 at 12:12 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

This is interesting.

I would like to say that we have 3 different types of renters here. We have high end renters living in upscale condos/townhome complexes. These live here for a couple of years and then likely move to single family homes as they need more space or are seniors who have downsized and appreciate the lack of needing to do maintenance and yard upkeep. We have renters living in apartment housing and have often lived there for many years. We have renters who live in single family homes possibly owned by an individual rather than an agency and own the property for investment purposes.

Are these different types of renters having the same types of needs? Should they be regarded as one group? Are they any different to someone who has managed to buy an old 1950s style home in its original condition and struggling to pay mortgage and do upkeep particularly in the rising inflation we are all experiencing.

I can see that there are similarities to all groups, but they have different challenges too.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 8, 2022 at 12:47 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Sadly the new housing bills touted by many of the boards you mention are 85% market rate and only 5% very low income. The difference in between market rate and the whole "BMR" segment in many complexes is a mere $200. Rent-controlled apartments are routinely demolished to make way for those more profitable for landlords and developers and will house the well-paid techies at companies who pushed those bills.

Yet they continue to blame everything on the "Nimby's" rather than the landlords, the big-money companies and lobbyists that spend literally hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying against paying their gig workers benefits etc. when.

Their hypocrisy and increasingly aggressive rhetoric is worth noting. Time to revise their campaign slogans from Peninsula For Everyone to Peninsula For Everyone Who Agrees With ME and Buys My Spin.


Posted by Local Resident
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 8, 2022 at 12:54 pm

Local Resident is a registered user.

If you want more affordable housing in Palo Alto then support the Palo Alto Large Business Tax that will be on the ballot in November. One third of the proceeds will go to affordable housing. The City is working on some exciting plans to help those most in-need but must have the funds to fund these projects.


Posted by toransu
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 8, 2022 at 1:03 pm

toransu is a registered user.

@Online Name

Oh spare me. The truth is that even new market-rate apartments help reduce the rents around them. You NIMBYs and your instance on the majority of apartments being BMR are just a cute little way to deny being against housing while knowing full well that the rate of BMR units you want eliminates any financial reason for anyone to build in the first place.

You don't give two ****s about gig workers. You should just admit you don't want your artificially high property values to go down.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 8, 2022 at 1:15 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Hardly. I cared about the 85 moderate-income people, including some friends, who got evicted from The President Hotel to make room for that luxury hotel.

And don't tell me I don't care about gig workers whose delivery companies are price-gouging and hence destroying local restaurants with their outrageous markups that are so larcenous that cities like San Francisco and New York have laws to cap their markups.

Did you miss reading about the San Francisco gig delivery worker who was so underpaid he couldn't afford a babysitter? His car -- with his baby in it -- was car-jacked and their was a massive fund-raising campaign for him. Want to compare our contributions to the appeal? Did you miss their fights for their companies to offset the rising gas prices that THEY pay for as independent contractors aka gig workers??

I come from a family of small business owners. I LIKE and support local small businesses and hate to see them destroyed. I hate seeing friends leave because of ridiculously rising rents.

Now that you're done misconstruing and spinning what *I* think without knowing me, could we get back to the *specific points* I raised??

But thanks for proving my point about the increasingly aggressive rhetoric against who disagree.


Posted by Rex Haller
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Aug 8, 2022 at 1:32 pm

Rex Haller is a registered user.

Outside of the recent state mandate to ensure X amount of additional/affordable housing, does Palo Alto have a moral obligation to go beyond that point?

I think not...after the low-income quotas are met, those who got bypassed or declined should seriously consider residing elsewhere regardless of job or income levels.

As for the former tenants of the President Hotel...they had years of relatively cost-friendly monthly rents but times change as many renters at one time or another have been displaced from their dwellings due to a new landlord or sale of the property.

It's called life and nobody said it would be easy.


Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 8, 2022 at 2:02 pm

Annette is a registered user.

@Local Resident. I had hoped that the business tax would be specific rather than general so that there was assurance that 1/3 of the revenue would be spent on housing. As is, if the tax passes we will have to rely on the integrity of future City Managers and City Councils to honor the intentions of the current Council. Let's say they do. These details may need updating, but I think the starting revenue from the tax was supposed to be $45M annually. After exemptions and adjustments, it is down to $15M. So maybe Palo Alto will have $5M to dedicate to housing every year. That's better than not having it, but in a city where land is super expensive and homes sell for multi-millions, we are going to have to be very creative to turn that annual $5M into the level of afforable housing that is needed. Past Councils created this untenable jobs:housing imbalance. At least this Council is working on a partial remedy.


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 8, 2022 at 2:56 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

A crappy outdated near ramshackle rental home w 30 year-old appliances and out of code ADU w cracked doors was renting for $5800 a month. Garbage and water not included. The asks 3X income to rent. 215,000 a year income!! Other SFH rents $10,000 a month or more. Regular wage Renters are relegated to substandard outdated apartments along Alma. @Bystander. We need everyone on board SFH owners and SFH renters to alleviate (share the air) the burden pushing low-wage earners to sidelines. Where unsafe, overcrowding and slumlord ing is pervasive. VRent, Blackstone and other large Wall Street firms are co-opting the lives of our essential workers for thier greed and profit margins. I know personally many long time upper earner families in PA who get out budded on home ownership. And are stuck renting a SFH at way over market prices so they can raise kids w a little more space. The average renter in USA is paying 50-70% income to rent. It is the worst in PA. How landowners get away with this predictors behavior without oversight is beyond understanding. Recouping Great Recession losses on backs of renters is my guess. Also PA real estate millionaires and “mom and pop” deny famines by the 3X income to rent ratio. Even when that renter can pay the rent every month using a government backed subsidy! It’s financial discrimination and is unfair Housing practices. You can work here yet you can’t live here, or park here, or shop here, or eat here, or breathe here unless u earn 3 times a monthly home price !


Posted by felix
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2022 at 3:04 pm

felix is a registered user.

Liz - I think it’s important that you disclose you live in secure below market rate housing, just to be transparent.

That said, good that you are concerned about renters, but I’m not clear what your specific goal is given all these words and all these groups, some of which have nothing to do with housing or renters - Parks and Rec Commission for instance.

One could contact the City (Manager or HRC) to sponsor a community meeting with the PA non-profit housing providers and renters for an informational event with materials, and sign-ups if possible. That may be constructive.


Posted by densely
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 8, 2022 at 3:20 pm

densely is a registered user.

Building market rate housing won't drive rents down until the vacancy rate is three or four times what it is now. When that happens there still won't be a reason to expect price adjustments to ripple down to below the lowest tier of the current market, which is what would be needed to make it possible for people who work to support our community to live here. For Palo Alto that would require building about 500 more units than would be needed to satisfy demand at the current prices.

And, by the way, tax cuts for the rich don't create jobs, and you're not going to eat pie in the sky when you die.


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 8, 2022 at 3:26 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

@felix. Should Liz also let you know she's a person of color or her kids are? The Recreation and Parks division has a terrible time hiring hourly coaches to coach local kids because the dept pays so little in wages -- let alone a rec supervisor who cannot live in Palo Alto. They also run community garden plots that have 5-10 years long waitlists. As well the dept. only offers poor children a one time once a year discount and plenty of hoops to jump through for that. The dept. is integral to the health and welfare of local families having access to trusted staff and programs that are paid for by tax dollars. The open lap swim costs $10 for a lap swim. That knocks elders and others out. This is absurd. The City dept. is essential to being a part of the housing to job imbalance, solution. If locals can't afford rents or pay 70% of income to a landlord they sure as heck cannot afford to pay for a rec program or a regular lap swim pass at $40 a week entrance (and no discounts for fixed income seniors or children in PA residence). Many of the Rec and Park community garden plots are overgrown and generationally inherited by long time "leases". Apartment dwellers can't get on a wait listed to even "rent" a garden spot because of the maze of unknowns, delegated and overseen by a city council selected commission.


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 8, 2022 at 3:38 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

@densely Is this article about market rate housing or fair access to reasonable rents for those earning low wages from essential jobs? When you live where the pie is produced, iclouds will rain berries. Apparently you are allergic to mixed berries. Yet collect the stock dividends from where they are grown.


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 8, 2022 at 3:46 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

@Rex Haller Good on Liz for sticking to the facts. And yes humanity and especially those that have more, have a "MORAL" obligation to help. I guess you never read a book from a Carnegie library or never bought steel from a Rockefeller or purchased a stock from Morgan Stanley. And maybe your head is buried in your iCloud IPO. The reality is that you should move to Hillsborough or Atherton, put a gate around yourself so you don't have to morally or ethically see the solution to a problem. Humans are not bay sands to be tossed around when the tide changes.


Posted by densely
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 8, 2022 at 4:10 pm

densely is a registered user.

@Native to the BAY Perhaps you should ask that question of @toransu.


Posted by mjh
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 8, 2022 at 4:15 pm

mjh is a registered user.

Part of the problem was created, without building a single new office development, when bulky computers and office equipment, individual desks, file cabinets, etc., became obsolete. In a relatively short time existing office density was doubled or trebled by repurposing existing office space with employees using powerful laptops sharing table space or tiny tables lined up cheek by jowl. A transformation compounded with all the new office developments since then that max out every last square foot allowed.

Particularly in the Stanford Research Park which has transitioned and expanded from a low density workforce in labs and manufacturing to high density office use.

This high density office occupancy ratio was not planned for when decades ago Palo Alto divided the city into areas zoned for commercial and areas zoned for housing. But which now leaves Palo Alto with a huge imbalance with too much land zoned for offices compared to that set aside for housing the workforce.

Perhaps it is time for a new moratorium on all new office developments and allow and encourage the replacement of older office buildings with new housing developments.


Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 8, 2022 at 4:15 pm

Annette is a registered user.

Small wonder certain issues don’t get the traction needed to move forward. A reasoned, calmly stated idea about forming a coalition to address issues critical to Palo Alto’s community of renters was derailed by a single angry post with the now predictable NIMBY accusation. Let’s retire NIMBY and YIMBY. Both are incendiary obstacles.


Posted by Frances Young
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 8, 2022 at 4:58 pm

Frances Young is a registered user.

The gripers calling for more 'affordable housing' in Palo Alto are being delusional.

That ship has passed.

And as for the younger generation bemoaning the cost of housing in Palo Alto, get over it as inflation, RE over-valuation, and/or landlord avarice have completely sunk your ship of dreams.

Times have always been tough regardless of one's generation and while prices may have been lower 'back in the day', people weren't making as much money either.

It's all relative.

So the realistic options are...win the lottery, inherit some family wealth, OR consider moving to the Central Valley or Sierra foothills where $750K will still buy you a decent house.


Posted by RDR
a resident of another community
on Aug 8, 2022 at 5:00 pm

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The quotas have been set Palo Alto requiring it to build 2600 new housing units for those with above moderate income. That's not going to be cheap housing. Anything brand new will charge more than existing rental prices. The renters can organize all they want but it's not going to make the housing any cheaper. The problem is this issue of new things being seen as more valuable. People like to opine that other units will drop in value from the competition but that's just not true.

What is true is that with income verification on an ongoing basis, some people can qualify for subsidized housing priced at a fixed fraction of household income. Palo Alto already has a number of such units in older complexes. Their pricing isn't based on any sort of a market, but is rather based on the income level of the tenants. The new quotas are for 1000 new units targeted at hose with about the area median income. Around here, that's a high price. But there are also 2400 units being required that are targeted at verified low income people. Again no competition but they will certainly be more than $200 cheaper than market rate units in the same new building.


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 8, 2022 at 5:11 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

@Annette N/YMBYies or not. There is a very real human crisis going over the screens of our addictive electronic ethernet devices. Act on climate change now because the human mammal coast trajectory is dire. The overly exposed are only witness to the weather vein of disaster. Those who live in squalor, under freeway passes and along creek banks and train corridors or with flimsy cardboard covers on City own parking lots, in RV's or automobiles are only revealing to the rest is only the tip of the melting ice berg. What most who, in the privacy of a home ownership, are doing is shielding themselves from reality. Possession of a "home" has given rise to Teflon shield of ignorance, while a growing and massive income, tech skill hole, a blight of inequality festers around us. For the privilaged, it used to be okay to rent, until....an inheritance kicked in or a better paying job and a savings account added up ? That's what American people did , families did up until one recession after another hit our banks and backs, beginning in 1980 -- in another Century and we are still being affected by the Tsunami. In this city, renting has become the' 'L' for looser letter. Or rather super sad face Image. yet as the Op-Ed pointed out near 50% of residents here. Is this not showing the real cost of being housed rent or no rent.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 8, 2022 at 8:01 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

" Let’s retire NIMBY and YIMBY. Both are incendiary obstacles."

Absolutely, since the labels are totally misleading and deceptive. Note how prodensity-backer Marc Andreesen's NIMBY memo opposing multi-=family housing in HIS Atherton backyard leaked and is being widely reported


Tech titan wants more housing, just not in his neighborhood
Web Link


Billionaire tech investor Marc Andreessen believes in building more housing. Just not where he lives
Web Link

Web Link


Posted by rita vrhel
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 8, 2022 at 9:37 pm

rita vrhel is a registered user.

WOW! did @ toransu go off the rails! I only hope they are not running for City Council.

I am no expert but the articles i have read on housing indicated building more housing units reduces the cost of higher end housing units as there is more choice available to the renter with adequate funds.

But this does not reduce the price of lower end housing. The only way to reduce lower end housing is to build more lower end housing, which PA seems reluctant to do.

One way to secure more lower end housing units would be to require all new developments to build the number of units required rather than giving "cash" to the City for future units. BUILD now and in each development. Economic and social diversity have many well documented advantages.

Calling YIMBYS and NIMBYS is just a divisive mechanism for people who do not rationally want to discuss a critical issue.

Ghost houses also play a large role in California's housing imbalance. Palo Alto could tax these units to provide additional funds for lower income housing.

Every time a house is demolished in PA (way too often these days, IMO) a tax could be charged to help build lower income housing.

The City Council can and should explore all avenues of gathering funds.

Finally, the waiting list for garden plots at Eleanor Pardee and Rinconada Public Gardens is NOT 5-10 years.

During the pandemic, plots were split to allow more gardeners to have plots. I helped interview and assign garden plots for almost 2 years at Eleanor Pardee Park and was in close contact with the Garden liaisons at E. P. and Rinconada.

Anyone wanting a garden plot needs to apply and go on the waiting list. Plots are made available on a regular basis when residents move, age out or decide gardening is not that much fun.

Thank you




Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 8, 2022 at 10:47 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

@Rita vrhel. TY yet let’s get real. Parsee park (one of my favorite PA parks) has a great garden kid, basketball, open space spot. But as you point out there is an application process to access a raised bed? Why? What kind of hoops does a resident have to jump through to be part of the garden party? Plus Pardee has no running water I.e bathrooms. A wreck of a house 2B/1b was renting for $5800 a month right across the street from said Paredee garden plots. The owner was charging more rent because renters had a window to look out on the community run gardens you maintain??? Shame on greed. The said “home” had 30 year old non compliant appliances 69 year old kitchen and a non code “ADU” they advertised to stick your teenagers away from the parents. What a joke!! It was a ghost house selling community benefits looking at your commitment & work. So do tell. How does one navigate the community garden plot applications? A lot of renters along Alma could benefit from growing their own veggies? Or. Is it based on home ownership and resident longevity, personal references, credit check? what and how to access a healthy outdoor activity , a small creative leaned space so renters can feel belonged and show their kids how to grow food! I agree the planning and development oversight is a generation away from real needs of real renters of real numbers. Yet these onerous remodels/rebuilds get away by leaving a fire place chimney intact so it’s not by the city code a “tear down”!!! So much for the planning and development dept. How come not the housing and development dept. By shear numbers and data everyone one would benefit. But oh no. The city collects high tax revenue by touting fake SFH numbers and unreal rental numbers. They are screwing us renters royalty and no one resident is holding their cutouts number of feet to the fire.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 9, 2022 at 12:23 am

Online Name is a registered user.

@Native to the BAY, the mcity isn't known for its efficiency or streamlined processes for homeowners either. Remeber the solar permitting expose'?


Posted by AlexDeLarge
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 9, 2022 at 1:09 am

AlexDeLarge is a registered user.

Recently I drove though Mt View and then a tad of Sunnyvale. These cities have created, In my opinion, fantastic medium density housing. Palo Alto has some elbow room for these modern sub/urban living situations in post light industrial and underused areas. Myself, my wife and I own a 850 sq/ft rental that until she dumped $100k into a redesign, was constantly rented to a Stanford fac member. Now, it'll rent for $4k, however she keeps it vacant for frequent visiting family and friends. PA is expensive and that is that. Our local government is hardly capable of mitigating such matters. My pointing in being is to look towards Mt View/ Sunnyvale because they are not Palo Alto'd. BTW, I'm a native.


Posted by Marion Pierce
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 9, 2022 at 7:53 am

Marion Pierce is a registered user.

The only way to challenge the status quo would be to form a large coalition/union of renters throughout Palo Alto and to force an increasing number of unlawful detainer hearings in SCC Superior Court by refusing to pay rent.

By having hundreds of eviction hearings running concurrently, public awareness would be heightened and landlords would still have to allow tenants to reside in/on their rental properties until each eviction hearing is resolved.

Start signing people up and stay put...


Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 9, 2022 at 10:20 am

Annette is a registered user.

@Marion Pierce - doesn’t your idea run the risk of decreasing inventory? I am not a landlord but if I had property to rent I would certainly be wary of taking on a tenant who might ignore contractual obligations and not pay rent and/or not leave if asked to vacate. These days, choosing to not rent out a smaller unit (room, ADU, cottage) might be safest. Protections are one thing, but neither side should be allowed to abuse a situation.


Posted by rita vrhel
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 9, 2022 at 10:31 am

rita vrhel is a registered user.

@Native to the Bay......to obtain a garden plot call 650-496-6962 or email [email protected]

you will be placed on the waiting list..it is SO SIMPLE.

no hoops..you can live ANYWHERE in Palo Alto.. renter, owner no distinction. If you are over 62 or low income there is a discount on your plot. people usually want a plot near where they live, but it is not required.

nothing is instantaneous but most get plots within 6 months. The Johnson Garden has a longer waiting list.

Please don't confuse garden plot availability with cost of housing or lack of a public bathroom. They are DIFFERENT issues.

But if you just want to complain, that is a different story. Can't provide accurate information on that.


Posted by commonsense
a resident of South of Midtown
on Aug 9, 2022 at 11:32 am

commonsense is a registered user.

Pardee - great park. But the private gardens? How many people does that serve? That space could easily fit 500 or more affordable units. Who's serious about affordable housing now?


Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 9, 2022 at 11:58 am

Me 2 is a registered user.

This thread is hilarious. It's bringing out the crazies with unsubstantiated statements (but I read it on the internet - it's true!) and terrible public policy ideas.

Let me guess what ideas will come out of these "workshops" - rent control and more BMRs. More social programs.

And more taxes on someone else to fund them.


Posted by Julie Lythcott-Haims
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 9, 2022 at 12:18 pm

Julie Lythcott-Haims is a registered user.

I applaud you @Liz Gardner for bringing the maze of options and procedures renters face to the attention of those of us who may not be in that circumstance. I'm ALL IN on the fair you propose.


Posted by Myron Jessup
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2022 at 1:22 pm

Myron Jessup is a registered user.

@Marion Pierce
Great idea. I would imagine there are many Palo Alto renters would consider joining an coalition to dratically lower monthly rents even at the risk of being evicted.

Getting evicted is not an overnight process. It can take months which is why landlords and their eviction attorneys are often amenable to a settlement...an agreed upon departure at a set/later date.

There is power in numbers. By saturating the eviction court with countless unlawful detainer hearings, no one will be tossed onto the streets prematurely as the court calendar will be heavily backlogged.

Power to the renters. Stay put and raise the banner of affordable rent in Palo Alto.


Posted by Jordan Cale
a resident of another community
on Aug 9, 2022 at 3:46 pm

Jordan Cale is a registered user.

Palo Alto is an expensive place to live whether one is a renter or a homeowner.

When our rent on a decrepit 2B/1B house in Midtown was increased to over $4.5K per month, we made the decision to move elsewhere.

Why are some people so intent on residing in Palo Alto even if they cannot afford to?

I would like to drive a Lexus but can only afford a Hyundai and so it goes.

The point here is that no one owes anybody anything when it comes to defining 'affordable rent' in Palo Alto.

To the whiners...consider moving to Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, East Palo Alto or wherever.

Don't let certain zip codes make you a geo-snob.


Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of another community
on Aug 9, 2022 at 4:28 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

There is a HUD announcement regarding the recalculation of the Fair Market Rents nationwide, due to the poor count of the 2020 census. There are less than 40 comments. COMMENTS ARE CLOSING ON 8/12/2022. Those comments were solicited by HUD to change the way they calculate the Fair Market Rent, which is below the actual rents that tenants are paying especially since 2020. If nobody comments, the soaring rents will still be out of reach for all of those people on waitlists. It's one thing to get on a wait list ... to sit there for years and years. Then your lucky day comes, and you get a voucher. BOOM. You look everywhere, and none of the rentals even come close to the allowance HUD has figured you should pay for a rental in your zip code. Your voucher sits there, getting unused because no landlord will accept a pittance for their property. You stay homeless or couch surfing or however you are trying to stay alive. PLEASE GO TO THE WEBSITE BELOW, READ THEIR CURRENT FORMULA, AND OFFER A SUGGESTION TO CHANGE IT. Web Link .


Posted by Greg Stone
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 10, 2022 at 8:06 am

Greg Stone is a registered user.

The current housing shortage can be explained in one sentence...

Supply and demand dictates the costs of residing in Palo Alto whether one is a renter or a homeowner.

In other words, you pay to play.

Instead of griping about escalating or exorbitant PA rents, live somewhere else where it is more affordable.

It's as simple as that.


Posted by Chris
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 10, 2022 at 8:27 am

Chris is a registered user.

Producing infrastructure, including housing, pushes rents UP. What we need is a coalition to study basic economics.
There is also no more water in California, an inconvenient truth. Any of the proposed "solutions" will only exacerbate the ecological catastrophe we are facing.
There is no such thing as affordable housing. Maybe we should make an affordable store, and an affordable bank! Affordable money, there we go! It's called subsidized housing
Remember when this was about homeless people? We should focus on that


Posted by Stelios Karoualis
a resident of University South
on Aug 10, 2022 at 9:05 am

Stelios Karoualis is a registered user.

@Chris
I suspect that the majority of Palo Altans (as in many other communities) would prefer not to have any homeless people residing in their city...on the streets, in RVs etc.

Curious as to why there are no visibly homeless people in Los Altos...only in MV and PA.


Posted by Anne
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 10, 2022 at 12:00 pm

Anne is a registered user.

How about the elephant in the room - for a long time most of Palo Alto residential real estate buyers are foreign buyers who pay cash and drive up the price of real estate. There is also the problem of "ghost houses" that take much needed housing out of circulation.

We need to take a page from Vancouver, BC: a hefty tax on foreigners buying real estate, money that could be used for affordable housing for essential workers.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 10, 2022 at 12:19 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

"We need to take a page from Vancouver, BC: a hefty tax on foreigners buying real estate, money that could be used for affordable housing for essential workers."

Also New York City and San Francisco, with the latter also trying to figure out how to fine owners for properties owned by anyone -- foreigners or not -- for taking houses off the market and leaving them empty but construction folks complained and attributed some of the vacancies to delays in getting construction permits.


Posted by Gladys Johnstone
a resident of Los Altos
on Aug 11, 2022 at 9:33 am

Gladys Johnstone is a registered user.

What is occuring in Palo Alto is also taking place in Los Altos...a lot of foreign homebuyers from China and vacant 'ghosthouses'.

The RE agents are also to blame as they are highly driven towards expediting residential transactions in order to collect their 3% commissions ASAP.

A 3% buyer or seller's commission on several $4-5M bay area homes? You do the math.

Another day...another Mercedes for them.

We have received several 'feelers' from various RE agents pertaining to our LAH home and we simply tell them to get lost.


Posted by Consider Your Options.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2022 at 11:25 am

Consider Your Options. is a registered user.

Los Altos doesn't offer much in the way of services or affordable and BMR housing options compared to other communities. If you are homeless, you want to be close to daily services for showers, food, medical care, etc.


Posted by Ronald Johnson Sr.
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Aug 11, 2022 at 12:41 pm

Ronald Johnson Sr. is a registered user.

"Los Altos doesn't offer much in the way of services or affordable and BMR housing options compared to other communities. If you are homeless, you want to be close to daily services for showers, food, medical care, etc."

@Consider Your Options...
It appears that Los Altos has a practical solution to discourage the homeless from situating there.

Palo Alto and Mountain View could take a cue.


Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 11, 2022 at 1:58 pm

Me 2 is a registered user.

"What is occuring in Palo Alto is also taking place in Los Altos...a lot of foreign homebuyers from China and vacant 'ghosthouses'."

Like I said earlier, lots of unsubstantiated statements from the internet, but no data to back them up.

And geez, I forgot about the vacancy tax idea. Yeah, like I said, all these services and ideas, with taxes on other people to pay for it.

At least you all are consistent.


Posted by Peter Gallagher
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 11, 2022 at 2:26 pm

Peter Gallagher is a registered user.

"What is occuring in Palo Alto is also taking place in Los Altos...a lot of foreign homebuyers from China and vacant 'ghosthouses'."

I'm not sure about the ghosthouses but this phenomena is also occuring in some of the better neighborhoods in Mountain View.

A $2.5-3M cash offer is apparently no big deal.


Posted by Margaret Bourne
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2022 at 7:46 am

Margaret Bourne is a registered user.

> What is occuring in Palo Alto is also taking place in Los Altos...a lot of foreign homebuyers from China and vacant 'ghosthouses'.

>> this phenomena is also occuring in some of the better neighborhoods in Mountain View.

^ This happened a long time ago in the Monte Vista High School area of Cupertino, to the point where opening a 99 Ranch Supermarket was warranted as in Mountain View.


Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 12, 2022 at 9:42 am

Me 2 is a registered user.

"This happened a long time ago in the Monte Vista High School area of Cupertino, to the point where opening a 99 Ranch Supermarket was warranted as in Mountain View."

You would think that people in SF Bay Area would be more sophisticated than that. Don't conflate Asian Americans who work for US companies with "spooky foreign money."


Posted by Mandy Pierce
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 12, 2022 at 10:09 am

Mandy Pierce is a registered user.

"Don't conflate Asian Americans who work for US companies with "spooky foreign money."

Many of the recently arrived Mandarins are not 'Asian Americans' from the standpoint of U.S. citizenship and many of them do not work for American companies opting in many instances to operate their own private companies in high-tech and mainland importations.

And many of those resituating in the SF Bay Area from China bring their non-citizen elder parents to stay with them and to watch the grandchildren.

The MV Senior Center and adjacent Second Harvest Food Bank are frequented by elders from the PRC who enjoy the lunch programs, recreational outlets, and grocery options.

As another poster noted, 99 Ranch supermarkets are situated to serve and cater to the grocery necessities of the Chinese Mandarin community.


Posted by James Takamoto
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 12, 2022 at 10:22 am

James Takamoto is a registered user.

> "Don't conflate Asian Americans who work for US companies with "spooky foreign money."

All things considered, the term 'Asian American' is too broad a category as Japanese/Cantonese/Filipino Americans differ from the Mandarin Chinese in terms of cultural identities, longstanding American citizenship, and in many instances...accrued wealth.

The aforementioned and older Asian American communities have also served proudly in the U.S. armed forces since World War I and their family members have fully assimilated into mainstream American culture.


Posted by Michael Chang
a resident of Los Altos
on Aug 12, 2022 at 11:16 am

Michael Chang is a registered user.

"You would think that people in SF Bay Area would be more sophisticated than that."

Hopefully so as the wealthy Mandarin Chinese expatriots from the PRC are a far cry from the long established Cantonese American community.

Kudos to Nancy Pelosi for having the courage to visit Taiwan and to assure its citizens that America will stand by them in the event of any PRC military aggression.


Posted by Minnie Taketa
a resident of Los Altos
on Aug 12, 2022 at 11:39 am

Minnie Taketa is a registered user.

As a third generation Japanese American citizen whose parents were interned during World War II and whose uncle was killed while serving in the U.S. Army infantry during the Korean War by Chinese Communists, I share no cultural similarities nor political connections with the wealthy and industrious Mandarin Chinese population currently residing in the SF midpeninsula.

And the same applies to my Cantonese acquaintances who immigrated from Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Please do not lump all Asians into the same category.


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 12, 2022 at 9:27 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

It’s just too weird when those property “owners” w large LLC’s or mortgages that oppose any rent stabilization because they appall gov interventions are themselves totally controlled, wed by FED HUD housing regulations with property refies, or remodels or ADU bldg or anything when it comes to bank lending, building codes, permit fees. Why stick it to renters for your personal invested resentment that Fed HUD, State, County, city regulates all things housing own/rent — and the banks have to follow the said, gov rules. Maybe it is really is Russia oligarchy rule in so called “private” property in USA, Cali Palo Alto.


Posted by Jacob Zhao
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 13, 2022 at 7:46 am

Jacob Zhao is a registered user.

These ghost houses that people speak of are not vacant residencies but rather sound real estate investments that will increase in value as time goes on.

Why rent them to people who cannot afford the rent?

It is far more feasible to eventually sell these properties to families who can actually afford to buy them.

Being a temporary landlord is very time consuming with added maintenence responsibilities as many renters are irresponsible tenants who abuse the property.


Posted by Harold Longley
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Aug 13, 2022 at 8:28 am

Harold Longley is a registered user.

Think about it...only those with an exorbitant amount of financial resources can afford to keep ghost houses in Palo Alto.

As for 99 Ranch, it wouldn't surprise me if additional site considerations are currently underway in an effort to better serve its loyal customer base.


Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 13, 2022 at 9:33 am

resident3 is a registered user.

I hope that renters organize a broad coalition because the quality of our community depends on people who actually want to live here. For all who complain about ghost houses, those investors replace families who who no longer have a reason to be here or to care about this town.

There must be data for this but Palo Alto schools are (were) one of the main attractions for living in Palo Alto. Young families, who are vital to the community. Kids who can actually enjoy the parks, and all the services that have been built for people to enjoy. Instead enrollment has been down for the earliest grades.

If all we want is a sea of cars, diners and tourists, then there's no reason to care about the people who would like to live here. When I hear threats about losing services in Palo Alto if we don't pay more taxes, I know my lights will still stay on (I hope) but what bothers me more is that it takes people who can care or enjoy a place enough to make it worthwhile.


Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Aug 13, 2022 at 10:50 am

MyFeelz is a registered user.

resident who said, "If all we want is a sea of cars, diners and tourists, then there's no reason to care about the people who would like to live here." Right on the money.

We don't make anything here in the US anymore. With the COVID shakeup, most company realized they don't need an office so everybody has a chair inside a cubicle. Those now-empty buildings sit vacant. Meanwhile, from coast to coast, every dot on the map has tried to become a "vacation destination".

The way that game is played, people who aren't living off trust funds or old money, are doing gig working trying to earn enough money to avoid homelessness. They move wherever is cheapest -- Butte Montana, or Podunk, Iowa. They hope to "save" enough to afford a one-week vacation to someplace they would rather live, but will never be able to afford. This was going on before COVID but after COVID, it's relocation on steroids.

Capitalism no longer works when 99% of the population can't afford anything except rent and utilities. And that, they can only achieve by cramming as many people they can into a "POD" house where their alloted living space is as big as a station wagon.

Personally I would rather live in a station wagon. It's portable, and the utilities cost about the same. The doors lock, and I can go anywhere I want to and do door dash or amazon delivery or give uber rides. We no longer need skills to do any of the available jobs (that nobody wants to do) like serving plates on the streets of Palo Alto. The novelty has worn off (if it ever existed) and the charm element was never above zero.

In order for housing to mean anything, a resident needs to have ties to the community. And communities that are made up of gig workers who will move on to the next thing in six months won't ever be able to make a coalition to address any long-term needs. There's no commitment in a society of migrant gig workers.


Posted by Jason Billings
a resident of Los Altos
on Aug 13, 2022 at 11:20 am

Jason Billings is a registered user.

Renting in the better midpeninsula neighborhoods is on its way out as condo conversions are the new alternative for those who can afford it.

For others, there are still reasonable housing options in the Central Valley, Oklahoma and elsewhere.

Consider the options.


Posted by Vinob Gupta
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 13, 2022 at 12:15 pm

Vinob Gupta is a registered user.

"If all we want is a sea of cars, diners and tourists, then there's no reason to care about the people who would like to live here."

Wanting to live here VS being able to afford to live here are two different things.

The 'wants' can be disregarded as there are other more affordable places for them to reside.

The residential quality of life issues of those 'able to afford' to live here are the only ones that truly matter.

Palo Alto will never become a tourist destination as it has very little to offer outside of various dining options...no different than Mountain View's Castro Street which is little more than an expansive food court on sidewalks.

Personally speaking, I no sympathy for those who want to live here but cannot afford to.

If one cannot afford a Mercedes, drive a Hyundai.


Posted by Mondoman
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 13, 2022 at 2:21 pm

Mondoman is a registered user.

Re:
"And many of those resituating in the SF Bay Area from China bring their non-citizen elder parents to stay with them and to watch the grandchildren.

The MV Senior Center and adjacent Second Harvest Food Bank are frequented by elders from the PRC who enjoy the lunch programs, recreational outlets, and grocery options."

Isn't this excellent? It's heartwarming to see multi-generational families sustained in our modern society, with all the benefits for both the families and our society that accrue from that. As a caregiver for elderly parents, I certainly appreciate the local elder support organizations including Avenidas.

As for grocery stores, it's great to have sources for products that once were hard to find locally. We're lucky to have places like 99 Ranch, Nijiya, Samovar and others.


Posted by Justine Walters
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 13, 2022 at 2:45 pm

Justine Walters is a registered user.

"...the wealthy Mandarin Chinese expatriots from the PRC are a far cry from the long established Cantonese American community."

If adherences to traditional Chinese culture is the reference point, it can be easily explained.

During the Cultural Revolution, Mao Zedong purged China of its venerable cultural traditions and promoted the state.

As a result and unlike those from Hong Kong and/or Taiwan, most Mandarin Chinese have no sense of Chinese culture or traditions except maybe for its culinary avenues.

Today the People's Republic of China is a socialist-capitalist dictatorship and a powerful player in the global marketplace where money and domination are considered king.

The modern day wealthy Mandarin Chinese are reflective of where they came from and they are merely adapting to western symbols of wealth and success because they have no real cultural identity of their own.


Posted by Bette Hargrove
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 13, 2022 at 3:38 pm

Bette Hargrove is a registered user.

> The modern day wealthy Mandarin Chinese are reflective of where they came from and they are merely adapting to western symbols of wealth and success because they have no real cultural identity of their own.

^ That is so sad. Couldn't the Mandarin Chinese follow in the footsteps of their African American brothers/sisters and retro-actively re-identify and rediscover their cultural heritage (aka roots) prior to the Communist takeover?

It shouldn't be all that difficult.


Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Aug 13, 2022 at 4:50 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

Jason, COVID has become the great equalizer. In 2020, many people moved to "affordable" areas where they could work from home. Oklahoma and CA's central valley are no longer affordable. You must not read any newspapers in other locations. Every small town across the country is at full capacity and the people just keep coming. It's like during the "Grapes Of Wrath" era, except in reverse. People are going back to the places they fled during the depression because they thought their "work from home" job would support them in grand style. I have several friends, couples, who sold their houses for above asking price in CA, and moved to Indiana, Missouri, and Wisconsin. Two of them had custom homes built for them because they were rolling in money. It took less than a year for all of them to realize the flaw in their plan. No matter how much money you have, you're going to get flooded out in Missouri. You're also going to have tornadoes in all of those states. Not to mention, the Midwest is so conservative, one of my friends got into a bar fight because he said he watched something on CNN. They all sold their houses, all of them just breaking even after all the expense involved. One couple is now living in an apartment in LA, while trying to find an "affordable house" to buy. Another couple is now "caretaking" the wife's parents because who wants to admit they had to move back home after 40? The others are building an ADU on a half acre that was offered at a sweet price, the catch being if they move, the house stays with the owner of the property. So... to throw a kink into your plan that everyone should move to "affordable" country ... it just doesn't exist.


Posted by Trevor Thompson
a resident of Los Altos
on Aug 13, 2022 at 5:25 pm

Trevor Thompson is a registered user.

@MyFeelz
So what you are saying is that many CA expatriates eventually move back to CA and that's just great (not).

Maybe Alaska offers some possibilities along with Puerto Rico.

Wherever one goes there are going to be 'acts of nature' to deal with whether it be earthquakes, tornados, floods, hurricanes, or blizzards.

That's why we are moving to Del Mar...fewer meteorological variables and natural disasters.

Hopefully others won't get the same idea as we are burned-out living in the SF mid peninsula.


Posted by Marlon Williams
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 14, 2022 at 11:14 am

Marlon Williams is a registered user.

Disgruntled Palo Alto renters should consider forming a coalition or advocacy group as petty griping generally amounts to nothing constructive.

Call it the Palo Alto Renters Association (PARA) and proceed from there keeping in mind that there are some people who will never be able to afford to reside in Palo Alto.

Such is life.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 14, 2022 at 12:14 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

@MyFeelz, re affordable housing not existing and prices rising elsewhere, there;s been a huge spike in speculative housing investment by hedge funds and others so that raises prices. However, the average home price across the national is still well below $1,000,000 -- as I'm reminded daily when my Old Houses Across America group posts on Facebook and I see incredibly beautiful homes starting at $250K.


Posted by Bobbie Jenkins
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 14, 2022 at 12:42 pm

Bobbie Jenkins is a registered user.

Mortgage rates for homebuyers are higher at present than in the past and residential real estate prices will drop in certain parts of the United States.

Regardless of hurricanes, tornados, and flash floods, those wishing to own a home should consider leaving the SF Bay Area and relocate to these areas.

Then everyday life will be less congested and hectic for those of us still iving here.

The only other alternative is to continue paying exorbitant rents just to live here and for what...the people, the stores, the parks?

If one cannot afford to live here, consider lowering your standards and move on as life here isn't all that great either.


Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 14, 2022 at 1:43 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

@Jason

Of course there are more affordable options elsewhere. More of a long-term problem for Palo Alto are property owners with money and choices who are choosing to NOT live here. Who are you left with? Older people who can't move that easily, ghost houses, and investor properties that don't welcome renters.

I suppose that many renters work at Stanford, other local companies or come here for the schools. Given the various migration patterns, why would we not want retain and attract people who have lived here and want to still live here?

Why shouldn't there be ordinances about ghost and speculative houses? If speculators don't like that, they can leave.


Posted by ChrisZaharias
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 14, 2022 at 2:23 pm

ChrisZaharias is a registered user.

@Trevor Thompson
Del Mar is a great place to live. We moved from Palo Alto to south of France and now reside in La Jolla. Great ocean sports, calm vibe being near the water, much more affordable, and good people.


Posted by Gerri Gaines
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 15, 2022 at 9:29 am

Gerri Gaines is a registered user.

The exodus from Palo Alto is slowly and gradually underway as many older resident 'empty nesters' who can afford to move away are doing so.

There will always be new home buyers/owners in Palo Alto as evidenced by the emergent Mandarin population who have the financial resources to do so.

If Palo Alto is truly becoming a base for 'gig' workers and its related economy, residential rental properties and restaurants should continue to flourish.

And while some workers will not be able to afford the exorbitant PA rents, such is life.


Posted by Ron Harvey
a resident of Los Altos
on Aug 15, 2022 at 11:10 am

Ron Harvey is a registered user.

Concurring with Ms. Gaines...as Bob Dylan once wrote/sang, "Don't you understand it's not my problem."

This applies to just about anything that does not impact us directly whether it involves Afghanistan, monkeypox, and/or affordable PA rents.

People need to address and resolve their personal problems on their own.


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 15, 2022 at 1:16 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest
WRITTEN BY: BOB DYLAN
Well, Frankie Lee and Judas Priest
They were the best of friends
So when Frankie Lee needed money one day
Judas quickly pulled out a roll of tens
And placed them on a footstool
Just above the plotted plain
Sayin’, “Take your pick, Frankie Boy
My loss will be your gain”

Well, Frankie Lee, he sat right down
And put his fingers to his chin
But with the cold eyes of Judas on him
His head began to spin
“Would ya please not stare at me like that,” he said
“It’s just my foolish pride
But sometimes a man must be alone
And this is no place to hide”
Well, Judas, he just winked and said
“All right, I’ll leave you here
But you’d better hurry up and choose which of those bills you want
Before they all disappear”
“I’m gonna start my pickin’ right now
Just tell me where you’ll be”
Judas pointed down the road
And said, “Eternity!”
“Eternity?” said Frankie Lee
With a voice as cold as ice
“That’s right,” said Judas Priest, “Eternity
Though you might call it ‘Paradise’”
“I don’t call it anything”
Said Frankie Lee with a smile
“All right,” said Judas Priest
“I’ll see you after a while”
Well, Frankie Lee, he sat back down
Feelin’ low and mean
When just then a passing stranger
Burst upon the scene
Saying, “Are you Frankie Lee, the gambler
Whose father is deceased?
Well, if you are, there’s a fellow callin’ you down the road
And they say his name is Priest”
Oh, yes, he is my friend”
Said Frankie Lee in fright
“I do recall him very well
In fact, he just left my sight”
“Yes, that’s the one,” said the stranger
As quiet as a mouse
“Well, my message is, he’s down the road
Stranded in a house”
Well, Frankie Lee, he panicked
He dropped ev’rything and ran
Until he came up to


Posted by Theo Lane
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 15, 2022 at 1:45 pm

Theo Lane is a registered user.

No one can interpret anything Bob Dylan has written accurately. He is a genius and leaves songs open for us to relate to them in our own ways. We can never understand the workings of his mind.

To a cynic, Judas Priest might be perceived as reflective of all the parasites involved a typical residential real estate transaction...the seller, RE agent, lending institutions, the county tax assessor, and perhaps later down the road...the refinance/reverse mortgage people.

It is an ugly world out there.


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 15, 2022 at 2:27 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

@Ron Harvey love how one simple lyric of Bobby Dylan’s is used in vein to promote a self indulged, self centered entitled remark of near discrimination. Many, many families do not have extra cash or equity to pick up sticks “and relocate”. Hitler’s 3rd Reich warned German residents, natives, and citizens for 8 years before physically and tragically removing inhabitants - forever changing a Gene pool and and International geography of shame. First he used the lowly underpaid, fired up base of Brown Shirts, then ...


Posted by Jake Schoenfeld
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 15, 2022 at 6:45 pm

Jake Schoenfeld is a registered user.

"...as Bob Dylan once wrote/sang, "Don't you understand it's not my problem."

"People need to address and resolve their personal problems on their own."

"...one simple lyric of Bobby Dylan’s is used in vein to promote a self indulged, self centered entitled remark of near discrimination."

How about..."Time will tell just who has fell and whose been left behind, when you go your way and I go mine."

Or as Humphrey Bogart said in 'Casablanca'... "I don't stick my neck out for nobody."

We are all motoring along a one way street and no one is watching out for the other guy...human nature.


Posted by Ron Marsh
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 15, 2022 at 7:19 pm

Ron Marsh is a registered user.

@Native to the BAY
Comparing the local housing shortage and affordability factors with genocide is a bit over the top regardless of any perceived symbolisms relative to Bob Dylan songs.

I agree that as Americans we must strive to ensure equality and some legitimate measure of prosperity for all U.S. citizens but I could care less about the problems taking place in other 3rd world countries (i.e. Myanmar, Afghanistan, Africa etc.).


Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Aug 15, 2022 at 7:51 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

Hitler was a drifter
before he claimed his fame
Trump was just a fatted rump
til '16 called his name
Zelenskyy added extra why
a joke known to his fans
and i just sit and laugh out loud
at things i understand
this rhyme that has been penned by me
should anyone purloin
send credit to my gofund me
in solid golden coin

as for those saying the indigent and financially struggling should just move on ... who is gonna mow your lawn after they go?


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 16, 2022 at 12:20 am

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

@RonMarsh I suppose fascism jumps from A to Z with a drum beat to 1’s and 0’s so fill the soul. Genocide took a European Genocide took a full generation to realize. It was what transpired in between that tragically justified the end. The “final solution” was just that. Final. The population that determines who should stay and who should go is sick yet who is being held accountable ? Who ? Only the Mouse knows. For those that use Dylan lyrics to justify their end game ... are phony to the gill. Hypocrisy . A Rose is rose until it rots. And then it stinks.


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 16, 2022 at 12:34 am

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

@Jake Schoefeld And Rick did everything for everyone else and sacrifice himself ... he voice his cynicism about the world and took action to HELP his fellow mankind. Watch the movie. Understand his ty. Bandinging about classics like the masterpiece “Casablanca”is a cheap shot. Humphrey Bogart did not say anything. Rick did. Duh!!! Get it Together! Jake!?


Posted by Robyn Harris
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 16, 2022 at 7:02 am

Robyn Harris is a registered user.

"as for those saying the indigent and financially struggling should just move on ... who is gonna mow your lawn after they go?"

^ I have never seen a homeless person driving a pickup truck and doing landscape maintenance in Palo Alto.

Most are Hispanic with late model Toyota Tundras and Ford F-150s who reside outside of Palo Alto.

As for the homeless with mental health and/or substance abuse issues, most residents would prefer that they simply go somewhere else as these individuals create public disturbances and endangerments.

Concurring with..."as Americans we must strive to ensure equality and some legitimate measure of prosperity for all U.S. citizens but I could care less about the problems taking place in other 3rd world countries (i.e. Myanmar, Afghanistan, Africa etc.)."

What goes on in these politically unstable countries is for their own citizens to address and resolve.

Lastly, comparing genocide with rental issues in Palo Alto is preposterous.


Posted by Lucille McPheeters
a resident of another community
on Aug 16, 2022 at 7:42 am

Lucille McPheeters is a registered user.

> For those that use Dylan lyrics to justify their end game ... are phony to the gill. Hypocrisy.

As are both sides. Dylan and Bogie symbolisms aside, how many here would actually offer to shelter a homeless individual with mental health or substance abuse issues in their own home? Didn't think so.

Perhaps best to take song lyrics and movie dialogue with a grain of salt.


Posted by Miguel Torres
a resident of another community
on Aug 16, 2022 at 8:19 am

Miguel Torres is a registered user.

We cannot afford to live in Palo Alto and are not losing any sleep over it.

I work as a gardener and my wife is a caretaker for an elderly woman with dementia.

As long as there is food on the table, a roof over our heads, and we have decent clothes to wear, our prayers have been answered.

Residing in Palo Alto is a luxury and if one cannot afford to do so, there are other options available.


Posted by Horst Dietrich
a resident of Los Altos
on Aug 16, 2022 at 10:02 am

Horst Dietrich is a registered user.

"The population that determines who should stay and who should go is sick yet who is being held accountable?"

It's called majority rule which is democracy both in action and practice.

As far as the 'final solution' is concerned, in 1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt established a fixed quota on European immigration and many third world countries in Latin America offered to take in refugees from Europe.

Unfortunately, there were very few takers willing to relocate to novel and/or exotic places like Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and Paraguay.

FDR's goal was to spread the refugees all over the world in an effort to save them.

In some ways this scenario resembles the unrealistic renters who do not want to leave Palo Alto despite increases in rents and rising cost of living expenditures.

The practical solution is to spread out and consider living somewhere else.


Posted by Marguerite Jensen
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Aug 16, 2022 at 11:21 am

Marguerite Jensen is a registered user.

Landlords have a right to a reasonable return on their investment(s) and do not owe anyone squatter's rights or reduced rents regardless of one's dire financial situation.

Now that the COVID-related rental moratorium is over, eviction court in San Jose will be very busy as countless unlawful detainer petitions will be filed.

Having been through this eviction process once before (when I was younger and single), the landlord always wins in court regardless of any extenuating circumstances on the part of the tenant.

Bob Dylan could care less.


Posted by Abe Kostas
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 16, 2022 at 11:50 am

Abe Kostas is a registered user.

> who is being held accountable?
@NATIVE to the BAY
"No one is free, even the birds are chained to the sky." Bob Dylan


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 16, 2022 at 3:25 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

@Robyn Harris . Genocide occurs in Afghanistan and Third World Countries like Chile, Honduras and El Salvador where cover-up and disappearances (children too), death squads and all kinds of heinous death crimes. And you’ve stated you don’t care. From this and other ignorant statements, the conclusion is that the genocide in Europe in 1930’s and 1940’s is no concern either. Wow. There is a war of economics on the poor, marginalized and disenfranchised. You are choosing to ignore and follow the elite class . So sad and revealing . Poverty is a inconvenience truth that’s being ignored.


Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 16, 2022 at 3:53 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

@Native to the Bay,

The few posters counting on just rich people living here may be speculators happy to displace people to scrape up more properties, or they fear change and think that denying housing problems makes the problems go away.

Either way it's not realistic to ignore 46% of the population. Local initiatives like Buena Vista, and trying to save the President Hotel for housing show that proponents of displacing people are still the minority (for now).


Posted by Jarrod Taylor
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 17, 2022 at 9:50 am

Jarrod Taylor is a registered user.

@NATIVE to the BAY...

As Americans we cannot be expected to resolve all of the injustices taking place in other parts of the world.

On the other hand, as local citizens we can work towards improving housing opportunities in the midpeninsula.

The key is not to bite off more than one can chew.


Posted by Wei Jiang
a resident of another community
on Aug 17, 2022 at 12:27 pm

Wei Jiang is a registered user.

Both objectives (rentals and home ownership) can easily be accomplished in Palo Alto.

My company buys prime residential properties on the peninsula and rents the bedrooms out to tenants.

It is a win-win scenario that benefits both landlord/owners and prospective renters.


Posted by Colin Rivers
a resident of Los Altos
on Aug 18, 2022 at 7:16 am

Colin Rivers is a registered user.

* My company buys prime residential properties on the peninsula and rents the bedrooms out to tenants.

^ This concept has been around for awhile. It's kind of like that show 'Big Brother' where there are multiple tenants living in one large house that is generally owned by a residential rental company.

It is geared towards 20-somethings who pay around $900-$1200 per month for a private bedroom. Shared bedrooms are less and the living group shares the bathrooms, kitchen, and living room/den.

I did this in Los Altos for about a year and it's OK if one is willing to sacrifice some privacy and can deal with people coming and going all of the time.

There is a house manager (another renter) who manages the place for a reduction in rent.

The living arrangement is tolerable but I imagine it might not be practical or enjoyable for older people (40+) who value their privacy and seniors [portion removed.]


Posted by Tyler Hagen
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 18, 2022 at 11:59 am

Tyler Hagen is a registered user.

Personally speaking, I would rather live alone in an RV parked alongside the road than reside with 7-8+ potentially irritating people in the same house.


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 18, 2022 at 1:12 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

@ron schoefeld and of course Rick did stick his neck out for everybody. His words were because of a sore heart, yet he was full of human sole. Watch the movie again!!


Posted by Gary Locke
a resident of another community
on Aug 18, 2022 at 7:14 pm

Gary Locke is a registered user.

Before we could afford to reside in the SF Bay Area, I commuted to Silicon Valley from Tracy and others could easily do the same until more favorable opportunities present themselves.

Those proposing a rental coalition/union are barking up the wrong tree.

Rents are not going down anytime soon in the more preferable locales and after the protesters are evicted, new tenants will take their place...regardless of the cost.



Posted by Noelle Carter
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 19, 2022 at 7:24 am

Noelle Carter is a registered user.

"His words were because of a sore heart, yet he was full of human sole [sic]. Watch the movie again!!"

Rick (Humphrey Bogart) should have let Paul Henreid fly away on his own because Ingrid Bergman didn't want to leave with him in the first place.

Hollywood endings do not emulate real life.


Posted by Frank Morales
a resident of another community
on Aug 19, 2022 at 8:16 am

Frank Morales is a registered user.

I commute from Gilroy EVERYDAY to my job in Redwood City as a supermarket produce clerk. It is not easy nor convenient but I have learned to adapt.

With daily traffic, I spend roughly 4 roundtrip hours on the road EVERYDAY and sometimes longer.

We could never afford to reside closer to Redwood City and EPA is out of the question.

Disgruntled Palo Alto renters are too SOFT and unwilling to make sacrifices other than complaining.


Posted by Dolores Campo
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 19, 2022 at 9:38 am

Dolores Campo is a registered user.

@Frank Morales
In reality, Palo Alto has become a residential locale only for those who can actually afford to reside here.

It is an unwelcoming environment for the poor, the working class, the homeless, and anyone else who does not meet a certain socioe-economic criteria.


Posted by Gerry Horowitz
a resident of another community
on Aug 19, 2022 at 11:36 am

Gerry Horowitz is a registered user.

Palo Alto renters should request/demand a lease-option clause on their rental agreements to ensure that they have some equity possibilities.

And if this option is unacceptable to the landlord, consider giving 30 days notice and move on.

Palo Alto is not the only place to live and people (especially renters) who cannot afford to buy or rent a house/condo etc. should consider other locales.

This is called common sense (which many people don't have).


Posted by Alan Parker
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 19, 2022 at 1:53 pm

Alan Parker is a registered user.

Another song lyric that immediately comes to mind is "Here's a quarter, call someone who cares" by Travis Tritt.

Unless an issue directly impacts one's existence, people should strive to solve their own problems and others should mind their own business if possible.


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 19, 2022 at 2:32 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

Obviously @Noelle Carter Rick is the anti hero by subverting the 3rd Reich regime, and helping those vulnerable to it’s assault. Rick’s Cafe was a veritable unified , diverse, equitable, inclusive haven for the “other”. Casablanca was supposed to be neutral and of course that just invited greed, hate and black market schemes. It was not a Hollywood Ending . @FrankMorales . Just because one out of many has the leisure time, gasoline and money to commute 4 hours daily to work and back does not justify the means. PS Lucky’s Market is cutting back, as is CVC Pharmacy - may even close some stores in Bay Area. Hope your high paying job as a grocery clerk is not in Jeopardy. Fresno , King City not a great are for job security this paying a mortgage. Wage to cost of living is about as wide and long as California’s Central Valley from Redding to Bakersfield!


Posted by Terry Gilliam
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 19, 2022 at 3:51 pm

Terry Gilliam is a registered user.

"Just because one out of many has the leisure time, gasoline and money to commute 4 hours daily to work and back does not justify the means."

@NATIVE to the BAY

Luxury (as perceived by others) VS necessity are two different things.

I suspect that Mr. Morales' comment was more about doing what one must do to make ends meet via a regular job that requires a long commute.

No one in their right mind would enjoy driving four hours a day to commute to work. Have you ever motored north/south on 101 or 680 during rush commute hours? It is a drag.

As for Casablanca...if I had been Rick, I would have told Ingrid Bergman "Let's get away and sit this one out" as France (the Vichy Government) contributed very little to the war effort having surrendered to Germany earlier on.

They are lovers not fighters.


Posted by Mary Whitcomb
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 19, 2022 at 8:16 pm

Mary Whitcomb is a registered user.

• Casablanca was supposed to be neutral and of course that just invited greed, hate and black market schemes.

^ During World War II, Casablanca (a key city in French Morocco) was viewed as a colony by both France and Germany.

Colonies are where black market enterprises tend to flourish because in many instances they invite underworld activities as they are often poorly governed.

Greed and hate exist everywhere...even in the United States.


Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 20, 2022 at 2:04 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

@Mary,

“Colonies are where black market enterprises tend to flourish because in many instances they invite underworld activities as they are often poorly governed.” Government that doesn’t give attention to 46% of the resident population sounds like poor governance.

This thread reminds me of the airplane noise threads where you have a chorus of regular posters telling people to just move!, noise doesn’t bother them. Go live in Tracy.

Probably 9/10 people who move because they were forced to are happy but it’s Palo Alto’s loss. We may not end up like Europe with maps redrawn but there’s definitely a redrawing of communities going on and while we can still bother, seems better to care about people who still want to live here.

For the speculators, that won’t be a loss for your properties.


Posted by Chelsea Hammond
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 21, 2022 at 9:03 am

Chelsea Hammond is a registered user.

Seems to me that Palo Alto should be doing more to accommodate its current renters than overdeveloping to encourage the influx of new renters.

Grandfathered rent control is one possible alternative solution for those who have been tenured home/apartment renters.

Stick the exorbitant rents to the new renters...maybe this will further discourage others from moving to Palo Alto and slow down overdevelopment.


Posted by Todd Carter
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 22, 2022 at 8:34 am

Todd Carter is a registered user.

Palo Alto has no moral obligation to provide supplemental housing for most of its gig workers...no more than SF does to accommodate the commuters (aka gig workers) who are employed there in the financial district, docks, warehouses, restaurants, retail stores, and salons etc.

San Jose is better suited to meet these housing needs as it is more spread out.


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 22, 2022 at 12:43 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

A Call to Action
What shows is that the Bay Area can solve serious problems when citizens and key institutions — including business, government, academia and the non-profit sector — work together toward common goals.
Thus far, the Bay Area’s residents and communities have not made the same commitment to solve the housing crisis. Yet there is no more time to wait. Failure to establish regional consensus and take concerted action will put the Bay Area’s historic economic, environmental and transportation accomplishments at risk. Unlike many other policy areas, housing policy is something local governments have significant control over.
The Bay Area must therefore pursue a multi-pronged strategy that emphasizes the construction of new homes for residents of all incomes, the protection of the region’s most vulnerable households, and the need to advocate for more financial resources to pursue local and regional solutions. This strategy — and the avenues through which it may be executed — is further discussed in the final section of this document, “Action Plan”.
If the Bay Area rises to this challenge, future residents will be able to look back and say that the region built on its past successes to achieve broadly shared goals: abundant and affordable housing close to jobs and transit; clean air; clean water; a protected shoreline; and healthier, wealthier and more resilient communities in a great, 21st century metropolitan region. — BayArea2040


Posted by Katie Lange
a resident of another community
on Aug 22, 2022 at 1:48 pm

Katie Lange is a registered user.

"What shows is that the Bay Area can solve serious problems when citizens and key institutions — including business, government, academia and the non-profit sector — work together toward common goals."

^ The problem is that the aforementioned institutions do not share common goals.


Posted by Melba Jenkins
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 23, 2022 at 2:39 pm

Melba Jenkins is a registered user.

There would be no housing crisis in Palo Alto if countless outsiders were willing to reside elsewhere.

Why should current Palo Alto residents suffer from diminished quality of life issues just to accommodate others?


Posted by Barbara Bolton
a resident of another community
on Aug 23, 2022 at 4:04 pm

Barbara Bolton is a registered user.

"Why should current Palo Alto residents suffer from diminished quality of life issues just to accommodate others?"

^ My husband says something along those lines during the holiday season when my family stays over.


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