Do you have a pre-1979 built home? Grants available for earthquake retrofit

Here are more details:

What’s involved in retrofitting
Earthquake retrofitting on the average house usually costs between $3,000 and $7,000 if done by a contractor; the EBB website lists approved contractors plus detailed instructions. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you can complete the work for much less. Typical retrofits include bolting the house to its foundation plus adding bracing to the perimeter of the crawl space.

The grants will be awarded via a random lottery style drawing, so everyone who applies has the same odds of winning a grant. The Grant application period runs from January 20 through February 20, so apply today.

Learn more at the Earthquake Brace + Bolt program and on


As of last Wednesday, Jan. 20, select California homeowners can register online to receive up to $3,000 in funding for earthquake retrofits, helping to protect their homes from future catastrophic earthquake damage. Registration is open through Feb. 20.  Grants will be awarded on via a random lottery picks.

How to apply
Grants are available through the Earthquake Brace + Bolt program, which is poised to deliver $4.8 million for earthquake retrofits to homes in specific ZIP codes in both Southern and Northern California.

Who should apply
Homeowners with a pre-1979 home in any of the cities which are covered by the EBB grant should definitely apply. Since we live in earthquake country, retrofitting an older dwelling for seismic strength will make the home more resistant to earthquake damage, and could result in lower insurance premiums as well.

According to the California Earthquake Authority, more than 1.2 million homes in earthquake-prone areas in Southern and Northern California are most vulnerable to major damage due to their foundations. These pre-1979 houses aren’t bolted to their foundations, include a crawl space and have unbraced “cripple walls” – low walls between the foundation and first floor. In a large-scale earthquake, these walls can collapse over the crawl space, resulting in the home sliding away from its foundation.

Eligible homes
Houses that qualify for the funding are

  • Pre-1979, wood-framed houses
  • Built on a level or low slope with a raised foundation and a cripple wall
  • Northern California: Albany, Berkeley, Burlingame, Emeryville, Hillsborough, Millbrae, Oakland, Piedmont, San Francisco, San Leandro or Woodside
  • Southern California: Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Bernardino, San Marino, Santa Monica, South Pasadena or West Hollywood
  • Click here to view more eligibility rules


- Sunil Sethi


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