Homowner FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the Fix the Bricks?

Fix the Bricks is a first of its kind hazard mitigation program designed to assist homeowners with the costs of seismic structural improvements to their Unreinforced Masonry (URM) dwelling.

As the first city in the nation to offer this program, we are currently assisting with the cost of roof to wall connections and the cost of securing chimneys to the main structure.

The 2016 grant process was the pilot for this program. Salt Lake City anticipates applying annually for pre-desaster mitigation funding to continue this project.

Why are roof to wall connections and chimney reinforcements a priority?  

According to FEMA, the most significant seismic life safety improvement that can be made to most URM dwellings is the reinforcement of roof to wall connections. This reduces the chances of possible collapse during an earthquake.

What are the preliminary requirements to participate in this program?

  1. You must live within Salt Lake City’s boundaries. If you would like to see the map of the city please visit our Fix The Bricks home page.
  2. You must own a home of Unreinforced Masonry construction as described in the “Utah Guide for the Seismic Improvement of Unreinforced Masonry Dwellings”.

How much is this going to cost?

Each home varies in cost due to age, size, perimeter, work desired, and historical preservation needs. The current average is $20,000 for a 2500 sq. ft. home with two chimneys.  If accepted into the program; the homeowner will be responsible for 25% of the cost and the grant will pick the remaining 75% .

What if I live outside of Salt Lake City Boundaries?

Your information will be passed onto your local city or county. As soon as this program is made available in your area you will be notified.

If I do the work now can I receive a reimbursement later?

No. The work must be done following the specific grant of the guidelines which need to be verified through the outlined process.

If I register today for the first time, when will I be funded?

Salt Lake City anticipates applying annually for pre-desaster mitigation funding to continue this project. Salt Lake City is maintaining a participant list on a first come first serve basis. The registrants will be contacted as funding becomes available.

Why have I not been contacted after completing the online registration?

There are many variables that come into play during the extensive process of getting your house funded through this grant. We currently have an overwhelming interest in this program and are working to get as many projects accepted as possible.  Please be patient, you will be contacted as soon as your application is under review.

What about multiple homes, apartments or a condominium?

If you have multiple properties, please register each of them separately. For apartments and condominiums contact us for further details 801-799-3698 or email us at: fixthebricks@slcgov.com

Do you have a list of engineers and contractors?

As a government entity we do not make direct referrals. However, we suggest that you contact the Structural Engineers Association of Utah (SEAU) for engineer referrals. Contact the Home Builders Association of Utah  (HBAU) for qualified contractors.

What if I am an architect, engineer, or contractor and/or own a company that does any one of these things?

1. Any work performed by the homeowner is not eligible for reimbursement; regardless of professional qualifications. If you do the construction on your home, you can be reimbursed for materials and services only.

2. If you would like to participate in the program as a professional service provider, please contact us for more details available training and continuing education credit: fixthebricks@slcgov.com or call 801-799-3698.

What is a Homeowner Agreement?

The Homeowner Agreement is a document that both you and Salt Lake City will sign stating that both parties agree to the listed terms. For instance, if your property is located in a FEMA flood plain the homeowner will be required to purchase and maintain flood insurance to comply with the city flood insurance ordinance.

How much time do I have to complete construction?

Your construction timeline will be stated in the Home Owner Agreement. The grant performance period is approximately two years from the date that the F.E.M.A. award is given to Salt Lake City Emergency Management.

Can I use my own contractor?

Yes, you select the qualified contractor for your project. We recommend getting estimates from several contractors to determine which is best for you.

What is a Seismic E.H.P.?

E.H.P. stands for Environmental Historical Preservation, this is a process to ensure that any environmental or historical portion of home or land will be maintained during and after retrofitting. After your property has been reviewed during the first site visit your home will go through an E.H.P. review if it falls into one or more of the following categories:

  • Your home is over 50 years of age.
  • Your home is located in a national historical district.
  • Your home is located in a local historical district.

We strongly urge you to use all pre-approved techniques that cause minimal to no effect to the structures historic value to comply with statute or ordinance.

When will my house become officially eligible for grant funding?

When you have signed the necessary official contract agreements also called the Homeowners Agreement with Salt Lake City. Registrations are addressed in the order they are received.

Can I get a loan for my share of the retrofitting cost?

Yes. The homeowners percentage can be financed through a loan. Contact the financial institution of your choice.

 What needs to happen before a reimbursement check is issued? 

Upon completion of your project, you and the city will reconcile the homeowner agreement with the project documentation. The project documentation is submitted and processed by the city. Then payment and reimbursement take place.

If I own one home and register it multiple times will it increase my odds of being funded?

If you register more than one property, it will be reviewed in the order in which it was received. If you register multiple times for the same property, duplicates will be deleted.

What if my home has a national or local historic designation?

You may qualify for additional programs. Contact the Utah Division of State History: https://heritage.utah.gov/history/state-tax-credit

Why do I have to fill out a W-9?

Salt Lake City Corporation has to maintain tax records on all funds passed through. This will apply to you in the reimbursement process. Therefore, Salt Lake City cannot issue you a check for the 75% without it.

Who do I contact for specific questions?

fixthebricks@slcgov.com 

801-799-3698