Berkeley SafeRenting: UC BERKELEY ASUC SENATOR KLEIN LIEU CREATES WEB APPLICATION TO HELP TENANTS FIND SEISMICALLY SAFE HOUSING
August 10, 2012
Contact: Senator Klein Lieu, Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC)
*** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ***
BERKELEY, CA – August 10, 2012 – Today, Berkeley SafeRenting, a web application for Berkeley residents to learn if they live in a building that was deemed seismically unsound by the City of Berkeley’s Soft Story Program, went live to the public. With this web app, residents can find where seismically unsound, or Soft Story buildings, are located in the city, and see if landlords have taken steps to retrofit said buildings. This application is also provided as a visualization tool for Berkeley residents to understand where high concentrations of seismically unsound buildings are located.
Soft Story buildings are buildings where large openings such as wide doors or windows take the place of one or more walls on the ground floor. Typically, Soft Story structures are apartment multi-story buildings. In a major earthquake, these buildings could face severe damage, but retrofitting them for seismic safety is a relatively inexpensive project. In recent years, the City of Berkeley has taken steps to identify these buildings, and make residents and landlords aware of the associated risks.
Berkeley SafeRenting developer Klein Lieu says of the project, “I came across a PDF listing seismically unsound buildings in Berkeley, but it was difficult to understand the data as it was presented. I decided to create this app to leverage technology to improve the experience of residents of Berkeley concerned about their safety, especially students who live in many of the buildings identified by the Soft Story Program.”
Berkeley SafeRenting can be accessed at http://senator.kleinlieu.com/saferenting.
To learn more about the City of Berkeley’s Soft Story Program, please visit http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/contentdisplay.aspx?id=622.
Berkeley SafeRenting is not affiliated with the City of Berkeley.
About Klein Lieu
Klein is a Senator for the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC), UC Berkeley’s student government. He is an elected official with Cal Students for Equal Rights and a Valid Education (CalSERVE). He will graduate this year with his B.A. in Cognitive Science, and hopes that Berkeley SafeRenting is one of many ways that he can use his knowledge of technology to make government work better for its people.
To learn more, visit http://senator.kleinlieu.com.