Multi-Family Soft Story Residences
22,000 Oakland rental units are in potentially soft story buildings. Severe damage or destruction to these units could result in personal injury, damage to possessions, loss of housing and potential loss of life for tenants, and property damage and loss of rental income to owners.
What is a Soft Story Apartment?
As defined by the City of Oakland, a soft-story apartment has the following characteristics:
- Pre-1991 construction
- 2+ stories
- Wood framed
- Open lower story parking or commercial spaces
- Lower story walls/columns with inadequate lateral resistance
- Identification as potentially hazardous in the California Health and Safety Code
Only buildings with 5 or more units will be eligible to participate under the Safer Housing for Oakland seismic retrofit grant program for Multi-Family Residences. However, owners of soft-story apartment buildings with less than 5 units may voluntarily participate.
What Does a Seismic Retrofit to a Soft Story Building Entail?
Property owners are encouraged to retrofit their soft-story building, as doing so will:
- Make housing safer and save lives,
- Protect owner investment
- Facilitate emergency response and housing recovery,
- Keeps Oakland residents in Oakland, and
- Softens the economic blow of a major disaster.
What Can I Do?
- Information about Grant Funding for Soft-Story Retrofits:
Technical Questions regarding Soft-Story:
Alain Garcia Placido
Planning and Building Department
Questions regarding Grant Funding for Soft-Story:
Housing and Community Development
Residential Lending and Rehabilitation Services
Telephone: (510) 238-6164