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City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

Approved households must get building permits by May

Berkeley, California (Monday, April 18, 2016) - Congratulations, Berkeley homeowners, for acting quickly and reserving $675,000 of state funding for seismic upgrades to safeguard their homes from catastrophic earthquake damage.

Continued fast action is required for the Berkeley residents who were accepted into the EBB program: they must obtain building permits for the work by mid-May and complete their retrofits within a year of permitting.

These Berkeley homeowners took advantage of the Earthquake Brace and Bolt (EBB) program, administered by the California Residential Mitigation Program. The program provides up to $3,000 per home (approximately 30-100% of the total cost) for seismic retrofits that bolt pre-1979 houses to their foundations and add plywood bracing to strengthen unbraced crawl space walls. Improving seismic safety protects property and increases Berkeley's resilience as a community.

Over 430 Berkeley residents applied for EBB funding during the month-long registration period that concluded in February. The strong response from Berkeley homeowners meant that the lottery chose 225, a very high proportion of the 1,600 retrofits being offered by EBB statewide.

To learn about future openings of the EBB program for new registrations, sign up at www.earthquakebracebolt.com. EBB's directory of contractors who have completed FEMA training for seismic retrofits of single family wood-frame houses is available at https://www.earthquakebracebolt.com/ContractorListing.

Other seismic safety incentives available to Berkeley property owners include a fixed-rate financing program with no upfront costs to spread the price of seismic upgrades over time on property tax bills. Berkeley property owners can also get a rebate on transfer taxes for seismic upgrades completed within a year of purchase.



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