Financing of Multifamily Seismic Retrofit in SF Marks 6th Year of PACE for Resiliency
Date: 24 May 2022
In May 2015, the City and County of San Francisco created the Soft Story Retrofit Loan Program, naming Counterpointe as the master program administrator and financier for the nation’s earliest PACE program to incorporate seismic resiliency. Since 2015, many property owners have used the program to secure financing, while PACE for resiliency programs has expanded to other municipalities and states to include other resiliency measures such as stormwater, wind, and fire resistance.
CounterpointeSRE’s head of PACE financing, Michele Pitale explained the benefits provided by the public/private partnership. “PACE is the allocation of private capital in support of city planning initiatives and a number of social goods. We are financing the costs of retrofits that increase the resiliency of the buildings, protect the tenants and provide the development of additional affordable rental housing units.”
The purpose of the mandatory soft-story program is to protect people against seismic disasters and to ensure the continued resilience of San Francisco’s housing stock.
“C-PACE programs allow owners to spread the cost of these improvements over a very long useful life, which balances out the economic impact of these mandates,” stated Brian Strong, Chief Resilience Officer and Director, San Francisco Office of Resilience and Capital Planning. “What is more, is that post improvement owners generally see an increase in value and revenue, particularly when the renovation creates more living spaces.”
The Mandatory Soft Story Retrofit Program (MSSP) was created in 2013 as a multi-year community-based effort led by the Earthquake Safety Implementation Program (ESIP) and enforced by the Department of Building Inspection to ensure the safety and resilience of San Francisco’s housing stock through the retrofit of older, wood-framed, multi-family buildings with a soft-story condition.
Since the San Francisco program launched, CounterpointeSRE has received applications from over 500 San Franciscans to finance improvements to the city’s infrastructure. To view summaries of many of the projects, please visit counterpointesre.com/seismic-projects.
About Counterpointe Sustainable Real Estate:
CounterpointeSRE is a financial firm specializing in financing commercial real estate and sustainable infrastructure through C-PACE and additional debt product solutions. Since 2013, Counterpointe has financed new construction and upgrades that have had a major impact on greening and providing resiliency to commercial properties by reducing annual electricity consumption by greater than 62,000 MWh per year and water consumption by 18 million gallons per year. Counterpointe and its affiliates additionally administer PACE programs in Florida, California, and for the City of Chicago.