Huang moved to Palo Alto with her parents at the age of four. She attended local high schools and Stanford University. Yet despite her hard work, the Palo Alto housing market is too challenging for her to foresee a future in her hometown.
“I went to Stanford, I work as a software developer, I make a six-figure income, and I still have to live with three roommates,” Huang said. “What more can I do?”
Huang isn’t worried about not being able to pay her rent, but she is worried about doing anything that might upset her landlord. “Landlords have a lot more power here than they used to,” she said.
“They know how impossible it would be for their renters to find anything else locally.”
While her concerns for herself are real and serious — “With the current housing market, I’m afraid I’ll have to live with roommates for the rest of my life” — she’s equally concerned about what the housing market means for the many Palo Altans who weren’t fortunate enough to go to Stanford and make six figures.
“I’ve seen a lot of people accepting crazy conditions in order to have somewhere to live,” Huang said. “Conditions like, the renter can’t use the kitchen, or the renter can’t have guests after 10 p.m., or the rent is 80 percent of someone’s income.”