San Francisco mayor signs quake retrofit law

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San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee (Photo credit: SFMayor.org)

San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee (Photo credit: SFMayor.org)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — New earthquake safety rules in San Francisco have tenant advocates and property managers wringing their hands.

The city approved a new law Thursday requiring thousands of wood-framed apartment buildings to be upgraded to better withstand tremors. Mayor Ed Lee signed the bill Thursday, coinciding with the anniversary of the city’s devastating 1906 earthquake.

Owners of about 3,000 multi-unit residential buildings will have to shoulder the costs, which could send already pricey rents even higher.

Lee says the measure will better protect the nearly 60,000 people who live or work in those buildings from potential disaster.

Authorities estimate the upgrades could cost around $60,000 to $130,000 per building. Lee said banks are developing financing packages for owners to help pay for the work.

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