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City Plan to Force Retrofitting Returns

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Back from the graveyard of dead 2010 ballot proposals is a plan that would compel owners of "soft-story" buildings to retrofit them for earthquake safety by 2020. San Francisco's Board of Supes will revisit the issue, which according to San Francisco Public Press "would apply only to wood-frame buildings built before 1978, with at least three stories. Smaller buildings and single-family homes would be exempt." As before, the major contention is the expense: How will the city help landlords come up with tens of thousands of dollars for retrofitting, perhaps hundreds of thousands in cases with people owning several buildings. Proposed payment options include city-sponsored "micro-loan" programs and "special deals" with local banks. In the meantime, upwards of 58,000 San Franciscans continue cheerfully living in soft-story buildings that are prone to (the truly horrifying sounding) liquefaction process in a big quake.
· San Francisco Plan Would Earthquake-Proof Thousands of Soft-Story Buildings by 2020 [San Francisco Public Press]
· Seismic Retrofits: Voluntary Now; Mandatory Later [CurbedSF]
[Liquefaction Susceptibility Map via SF Public Press]