Calif. Financial Code §22003.5, Calif. Gov. Code §§53313.5, 53355.7, Calif. Streets and Highways Code §§5898.16, 5898.17, 5902, 5913, 5954
Amended by SB 465
Effective date: January 1, 2019 – January 1, 2029
This bill enacts the Wildfire Safety Finance Act, which enables public financing to install wildfire safety improvements in very high fire hazard severity zones.
The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program is currently used to finance improvement to make California homes and other types of properties more energy efficient.
In Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones, this bill adds wildfire safety improvements to the types of improvements the PACE program may finance.
Wildfire safety improvements are limited to improvements which are permanently affixed to any type of real property, including residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural property.
Further, these types of improvements are not to be used as part of a project to rebuild a home destroyed or damaged in a past fire.
Types of fire safety improvements which may qualify include:
- re-constructing a roof with fire-resilient materials like composition, metal or tile;
- installing dual-paned windows with one pane of tempered glass;
- enclosing rain gutters to prevent ignitable plant debris from accumulating;
- using ignition-resistant materials for patio coverings, fences and decks; and
- installing weather stripping around and under the garage door to prevent embers from reaching inside the garage.
The property owner is responsible for contacting their insurance provider to determine whether the fire safety improvement financed by the PACE assessment is covered by their insurance plan and whether it will impact their insurance rate.
When an individual refuses to undertake an act in connection with the Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act, it won’t stop them from qualifying for financing of wildfire safety improvements under the PACE program.