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By the Numbers

How and when does Stanford decide to build housing?

Stanford remains committed to addressing the housing demands of the University’s near- and long-term academic growth through sustainable development on our land near academic facilities and transit. We build or facilitate the building of housing commensurate with this growth and associated campus population. Beyond the needs of our affiliates, we will continue to be part of the solution to our region’s severe and urgent housing crisis, exploring opportunities for housing development on our lands beyond the core campus.


Where can I find more information about Stanford’s housing options for students, faculty, staff, and post-doctoral fellows?

Students can find information about living in university housing here, including housing options for undergraduate and graduate students. This includes options for singles, couples and students with children. 

Faculty, staff, and postdocs can find everything you need to know about living in university housing here, including information about eligibility and availability.


How is Stanford translating its goals into future housing development?

Stanford is proud of its unprecedented housing investment, and continues to look for opportunities to support the housing needs of our affiliates and contribute toward solutions to regional housing challenges. Our pipeline of housing projects are near transit, support our neighboring communities’ housing needs, and support affordability for faculty and staff. Current projects include: 

  • Middle Plaza in Menlo Park, which includes 215 rental housing units for eligible Stanford faculty and staff.
  • Portola Terrace in Portola Valley, where 27 for-sale homes are proposed for Stanford faculty, along with 12 below-market rate affordable apartments for members of the broader community.
  • 3150 El Camino in Palo Alto, where Stanford’s ground lessee is proposing to build 380 units in the Stanford Research Park for members of the broader community.



Affordability & Access

How does Stanford make its housing more affordable?

All housing offered by the university to its affiliates is below market. Stanford provides below market rental units for affiliates and community members, as well as discounted rents for faculty, staff, and postdocs living in university rental housing. Whether deed-restricted or elective by the university,  the lower rents generally make the unit equivalent in price to moderate income or low income affordable housing. 

Stanford provides substantial financial aid to students that reduces or eliminates housing costs, most notably for families of undergraduates earning under $100,000 annually (starting in Fall of 2023), who do not have to pay any tuition, room or board. Graduate student rents are directly subsidized in Stanford-controlled buildings. 

Stanford provides below-market ownership homes for faculty and rental communities for faculty and staff.


Does Stanford have any housing on its lands for the general public?

Stanford reserves on-campus housing for university affiliates, seeking to foster greater connection between faculty and students. However, Stanford has constructed or supported housing on its land beyond our campus for a mix of affiliates and local residents. We also have contributed land for housing development available to eligible seniors, and pay into the Stanford Affordable Housing Fund which supports housing production for the general public.


Who decides which housing projects will be funded by the Stanford Affordable Housing Fund?

The Stanford Affordable Housing Fund is allocated by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to eligible projects that are in need of “gap” funding in order to proceed. Projects that have been supported by the fund include Alta Torre Apartments, Stevenson House, and 801 Alma Family Apartments in Palo Alto, among others. The fund was also used to help preserve the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park in Palo Alto.




What standards does Stanford follow to ensure new construction minimizes environmental and other impacts?

Stanford follows LEED equivalencies and other environmental and quality standards in all new construction or renovation projects. Each new building is targeted to perform better than comparable buildings that were built before it. More information is available here

Stanford has also transitioned to 100 percent renewable electricity, thanks to our solar farms and on-campus solar installations that generate a supply of clean energy that exceeds what the campus consumes. In addition to meeting energy performance targets for new buildings, we also make significant investments to improve efficiency in existing buildings. Upgrades include reducing energy and water use to ensure resources are used sustainably.


What does Stanford do to reduce the traffic impacts of its new housing projects?

Stanford provides housing for its students, faculty, staff and post-doctoral fellows with easy access to robust transportation systems and programs that support commuting to work or school by public transit and other sustainable modes. Most university housing is on campus or near to campus to encourage  walking or biking.


Where can I find a summary of transit options and sustainable commute programs available to Stanford affiliates?

You can find bicycle, Marguerite, rideshare, charter services, and other transportation options here. In addition to services provided that primarily serve the Stanford campus, Stanford partners with other transit providers and provides its own services to satellite campuses, including Stanford Redwood City; more information is available here.



Regional Contributions

How does Stanford engage with local government partners on solutions to regional housing challenges?

Stanford partners with local governments to identify new housing opportunities on our land. In addition to contributions to the Stanford Affordable Housing Fund, we have made housing sites available in draft Housing Elements for the City of Palo Alto, the Town of Portola Valley, and Santa Clara County.

How are tax rolls impacted by Stanford Faculty Housing?

When Stanford purchases or is gifted a home in the community, they are typically renovated and repaired and Stanford then sells a long-term ground lease in the home to faculty. These leaseholds have restrictions that allow the home to be sold at a more affordable price, better enabling faculty recruitment in this high-cost region and thereby supporting Stanford’s academic mission. The faculty homeowners pay property taxes on these properties, this includes homes located on the Stanford campus and in neighboring communities. Conversely, Stanford rental properties are eligible for a property tax exemption when they are leased to faculty, students, or staff.  Rental units leased to other tenants do not receive an exemption.

 Click here for more information about the legal complaint the university filed against Santa Clara County regarding the property tax reassessments of faculty homes on campus.