Campaign Update: Seismic Safety — Mandatory Seismic Retrofits

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2091 California is already retrofitted.

This Thursday, October 3, the Housing Advisory Commission will vote on their recommendations to Council regarding the law to require landlords to fix unsound buildings. BTU attended the last HAC meeting to speak about our concern:

Tenants should not have to pay extra rent for safe housing!

The City will hold the final public hearing on the law to require seismic retrofits for Berkeley’s most unstable rental housing on October 10 at 5 PM. Since the first hearing was held over the summer, and so many students live in these “soft story” buildings, the October hearing is cosponsored by Berkeley’s ASUC and will be held on campus but open to everyone. Only five tenants spoke at the July 27 hearing, although more than 40 landlords were present.

On September 16, the Berkeley Rent Board finished their recommendations to Council, which cite many ways that owners with financial hardship could pay for retrofits without raising rents. However, even the Rent Board voted to consider amending rules so that landlords can raise rents! If tenants do not speak out at the meetings listed below, Berkeley tenants could see increases under the new mandatory retrofit rules like those in San Francisco, where rents in unsafe buildings are going up an average of $900 a year!

Seismic Retrofit Recommendations
Thursday October 3 – 7 PM
Housing Advisory Commission
South Berkeley Senior Center

Final Public Hearing on Seismic Retrofits
Thursday October 10 — 5 PM
City of Berkeley Hearing sponsored by ASUC
UC Berkeley Alumni Hall – 2537 Haste Street

Seismic Retrofits to City Council
REVISED DATE November 19 — 7 PM

Council Chambers: 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way

City website, including draft law and inventory of unsafe buildings:
http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/Planning_and_Development/Building_and_Safety/Soft_Story_Program.aspx

Rent Board recommendations:
Rent Board Seismic

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