Gavin on Quake Retrofits: We'll Make You Do Them

Following two reports on quake-vulnerable buildings, Gavin Newsom has changed his mind: he now supports mandatory, rather than voluntary, upgrades for buildings across the city that have been identified as the weakest.

"That," he says, "needs to be the framework of discussion now." According to one of the reports, the total cost of retrofits could amount to $260 million, compared to the tab for possible damages if the retrofits aren't made, $1.5 billion.

The San Francisco Apartment Association's taken a relatively positive stance on the issue, saying the mayor's intentions are good, and that "our primary goal is to make our tenants safe"; they just need a little cash infusion from the city to get going.

Gavin indicated that the idea is to phase in the retrofits, and that, yes, not everyone can afford to fix up their buildings— suggesting a process to address financial concerns. Meanwhile, one of the reports warns ominously that a 1906-style quake is likely to hit before 2032. Brace... literally.

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