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

Apply by Feb. 23, 2018 to be eligible for $3,000 seismic rebate

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, February 06, 2018) - Attend a workshop on February 8 to learn from a statewide expert about tips, options and myths about earthquake insurance as well as details about a rebate program for seismic work on your home.

To qualify for the $3,000 rebate program, property owners must register online or by calling (877) 232-4300 by Feb. 23, 2018. The program is open to owner-occupied single-family residences and small multifamily buildings (1-4 units). Qualifying applicants will be entered into a lottery for the funding.

The February 8, 2018 workshop will be held at Photo of house that slid off its foundation with the caption: "The consequences of an improper retrofit can be devastating. The crawl space may still be vulnerable to collapse possibly causing the home to slide off its foundation."
7pm at 997 Cedar Street. Janiele Maffei, Chief Mitigation Officer of California Earthquake Authority, will take questions and cover the following topics:

  • The Earthquake Brace & Bolt Program that
    allows Berkeley homeowners to apply for up to $3,000 in retrofit costs;
  • Understanding earthquake risk:
    • Most Californians live within 30 miles of an active earthquake fault, thousands of which exist throughout the state
    • There is a 99% chance of a Magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake sometime in the next 30 years
    • Less than 10 percent of California homes are covered by earthquake insurance
  • Insurance Facts vs. Myths: learn important tips and options in connection to applying for earthquake coverage. Maffei will dispel many myths about earthquake insurance.

Over the past two years, approximately 220 Berkeley homeowners received Earthquake Brace and Bolt rebates, bringing over $660,000 in state funding to Berkeley residents, while increasing the resilience of our community. Retrofitting strengthens the connection between the house and its foundation, keeping the house from sliding or toppling during an earthquake.

Incentives from the California Earthquake Brace and Bolt Program help pay for seismic upgrades to houses most vulnerable to severe damage - pre-1979 houses which are not bolted to foundations, are built atop a crawl space, and have unbraced "cripple walls," the short wood-framed wall surrounding the crawl space under the first floor.

Bolting involves adding anchor bolts to improve the connection between the wood framing of a building and its concrete foundation. Bracing involves adding plywood to the cripple walls to help keep the house from toppling off of the foundation during an earthquake. Upgrading the home before the next earthquake could save a homeowner thousands of dollars.

In addition to the state's Earthquake Brace and Bolt rebates, Berkeley homeowners can get a rebate on transfer taxes for seismic improvements made within a year of purchase. Berkeley property owners of buildings with five or more units and a soft, weak or open front condition may be eligible for new retrofit grants for seismically vulnerable buildings from the City of Berkeley. Commercial, multifamily and residential property owners can also use Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing to borrow money for seismic improvements, with no upfront costs and payback over time on their property bills.

Apply by Feb. 23, 2018 for a chance at the $3,000 rebate and improve the safety of your home.


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