By David Jacobson, Temblor
Until February 27 (Monday), Californians remain eligible to apply for a $3,000 Earthquake Brace + Bolt grant to seismically retrofit their homes. The program, which we highlighted when it opened in late January, is aimed at residents living in areas prone to large earthquakes in both Northern and Southern California. 2,000 people will receive a grant, which will significantly reducing the personal cost of retrofitting. While the cost of retrofitting varies across the state, and is dependent on both the size and complexity of the job, the total cost averages $5,200 according to the California Earthquake Authority (CEA). This program is jointly funded by the CEA and California’s general fund.
In order to be eligible for the grant, residents must live in one of 145 zip codes. This is 40% more than there were last year, when everyone who applied for the grant received it. Some of the new locations include Hayward, Redwood City, San Mateo and Santa Barbara. Other requirements to receive a grant are that your house must be made of wood, built on flat or nearly flat ground, have a raised foundation, and have a 4-foot (or less) cripple wall beneath the first floor.
While you are not guaranteed a grant, we recommend that everyone who is eligible should apply, and then if selected, decide if retrofitting is the right thing to do. This program is only offered once a year, and for a limited time. Therefore, it is important to take advantage of potential economic relief to improve your earthquake safety. If you would like help determining if you are eligible, click here.
If you are selected to receive a grant, the funding you will receive will be used towards bolting your house to its foundation and strengthening cripple walls. The purpose of this is to prevent your house from toppling off its foundation during an earthquake. If you would like to know more about the process of retrofitting, click here.