More California homeowners will be eligible for up to $3,000 in seismic retrofit grants through Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB), a program jointly administered by the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. The grants help offset the cost of seismic retrofits that brace the cripple walls of older homes, when present, and bolt houses to their foundations, making them less vulnerable to earthquake damage.
Eligible homeowners can apply online for grants during the registration period, October 27 through December 1, 2021. Thanks to additional funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, EBB grants will be available to homeowners in 395 ZIP Codes in more than 170 cities and communities. The EBB program added ZIP Codes in new areas including, but not limited to, Inglewood, Long Beach, El Centro, Santa Clara and Vallejo.
Income-eligible homeowners may also qualify for newly available supplemental grants. The amounts
vary depending on the region and type of retrofit completed. These supplemental grants, which are available for households with an income at or below $72,080, may be able to provide up to 100% of the funds needed to cover a seismic retrofit. Grants are contingent upon meeting eligibility requirements and available funds.
“EBB’s growth is helping more California homeowners prepare for the next big earthquake by offsetting the cost of completing a seismic retrofit,” said Janiele Maffei, chief mitigation officer of CEA and executive director of EBB. “The EBB program can help Californians protect their families, their homes and their investments, and we encourage homeowners in EBB ZIP Codes to apply for funding during the registration period this fall.”
According to CEA, more than 1.2 million houses in high-hazard areas are particularly vulnerable to earthquakes because of the way they were constructed. These homes are typically built before 1980, are wood framed with a raised foundation and may have a cripple wall in the crawl space under the house. Since 2014 when the first EBB retrofit was completed, EBB grants have helped more than 15,500 homeowners retrofit their houses.
“Older homes are particularly vulnerable to earthquake damage, so it’s important that homeowners in high-seismic-hazard areas take proactive steps to reduce the risk of their home slipping off its foundation,” said CEA CEO Glenn Pomeroy. “CEA is committed to supporting California homeowners through education, mitigation and insurance, and we’re particularly proud to offer supplemental grants to help income-eligible Californians complete seismic retrofits.”
Beginning October 27 through December 1, 2021, eligible homeowners can apply for retrofit funding at EarthquakeBraceBolt.com, where they can also find detailed program information, select a FEMA-trained, California-licensed general contractor and view the full list of eligible ZIP Codes and program areas. Once registration closes, participating homeowners will be selected through a random drawing and notified via email if they have been selected or if they have been placed on the wait list.
This year, EBB retrofit grants will be available in 395 ZIP Codes. EBB ZIP Codes are selected using the following criteria weighted equally between two categories:
- Earthquake Hazard: Higher-hazard areas were identified using the United States Geological Survey (USGS) earthquake-hazard map for California.
- Seismic Vulnerability of Houses: The seismic vulnerability of houses located in California’s higher-hazard ZIP Codes was represented by the percentage of pre-1940 houses in each of those ZIP Codes—older houses are more likely to require seismically resistant bracing and bolting.
About Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB)
Established by the California Residential Mitigation Program, EBB offers up to $3,000 to help California homeowners retrofit their house to reduce potential damage from earthquakes. A residential seismic retrofit makes a house more resistant to earthquake activity, such as ground shaking and soil failure, by bolting the house to its foundation and adding bracing around the perimeter of the crawl space. For more information, please visithttp://www.EarthquakeBraceBolt.com.
About the California Residential Mitigation Program (CRMP)
CRMP was established in 2011 to help Californians strengthen their homes against damage from earthquakes. CRMP is a joint powers authority created by the California Earthquake Authority and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. For more information, please visit http://www.CaliforniaResidentialMitigationProgram.com.