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

FEB. 27 DEADLINE FOR SEISMIC UPGRADE REBATES

Berkeley, California (Friday, January 27, 2017) - Sign up quickly for a chance at $3,000 worth of rebates that can help pay for seismic upgrades to your home's foundation and lessen the potential for damage from earthquakes.

Property owners must register with the California Earthquake Brace and Bolt Program by February 27, 2017, either online or by calling (877) 232-4300. Homes must be single-family or small multi-family buildings (four dwelling units or less) to qualify for the program. Qualifying homes will be entered into a lottery for the funding.

Last year 119 Berkeley homeowners received these rebates, bringing over $355,000 in state funding to Berkeley residents. By seismically upgrading so many individual homes, the entire community is more resilient - better able to bounce back strongly from hard times. Retrofitted homes have a strengthened 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," which is the short wood-framed wall surrounding the crawl space under the first floor. Upgrading the home before the next earthquake could save a homeowner tens of thousands of dollars.

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.

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 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. 27 for a chance at the $3,000 rebate and improve the safety of your home.

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