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How to Pay for a Retrofit

  • Home improvement low cost loans and grants are available in most cities and counties in the Bay Area to low- and fixed-income homeowners for this type of work. The source of the funds are their Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the federal government. Program requirements and funds available vary. Contact your local housing department or building department for more information.
  • City of Oakland: low income homeowners in the redevelopment zone may qualify for a grant for 50% of the cost of the work (up to $5,000) matched with a low interest loan for the remaining 50% of the cost. Retrofit permit fees for all residents are fixed at $250.
  • City of Berkeley: Berkeley’s Seismic Retrofit Incentive Program is an award-winning local government program offering financial incentives to owners of properties in the City. The program includes: a waiver of building permit fees for all qualified retrofit projects and a rebate of up to one-third of the City’s 1.5% property transfer tax if the funds are used for qualified retrofit projects within one year of purchase of the property.
  • Many other cities offer a flat permit fee for qualifying seismic retrofit work. Contact your building department for more information.

ABAG Finance Authority for Non-profits – Affordable Housing Program

The ABAG Finance Authority For Nonprofit Corporations (the “Authority”) is a Joint Powers Agency formed to help eligible nonprofits and other borrowers to gain access to tax-exempt debt financing. The Authority simplifies the debt issuance process for both the borrower and the jurisdiction in which the borrower is located by issuing conduit tax-exempt bonds or certificates of participation to finance projects with demonstrated public benefit. The Authority has financed projects on behalf of:

  • hospitals;
  • health care clinics;
  • retirement facilities;
  • nonprofit housing developers;
  • multifamily housing partnerships;
  • private schools;
  • behavioral health care agencies;
  • substance abuse facilities; and
  • community service organizations.

Information provided by ABAG