December 21, 2023

Palo Alto Rent Registry


Since 2017, the City of Palo Alto has actively pursued the study and implementation of a set of policies aimed at safeguarding tenants. In collaboration with the City of Palo Alto, SV@Home served as a community partner between 2019 and 2021, contributing to a city-initiated commitment to the Partnership for the Bay’s Future (PBF). This partnership enabled the city to secure funding and resources for an in-depth study of tenant protection issues. The city staff findings underscored low-income renters’ heightened vulnerability to displacement, a concern not only specific to Palo Alto but prevalent across the region. This vulnerability is particularly pronounced in cities like Palo Alto where exorbitant rents contribute to the challenges renters face.

On November 27, the City Council adopted a rent registry ordinance, which was a priority policy from the partnership. The council had a second reading of the ordinance on Monday, December 18. SV@Home advocated for the adoption of this policy, ensuring that critical information is captured such as rental amount, when a vacancy occurs, or when a tenant has received an eviction notice. Next steps include writing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the software needed and getting housing providers to register. The registry will cover all rental units but will prioritize properties with 3 units or more. 

We look forward to the continued implementation of all the tenant protection policies the council moved forward in the last few years. Having a rent registry will help the city and us see the impact of these policies.