Today, there are more than 1 million houses in high-hazard areas of California that are particularly vulnerable to earthquakes because of the way they were constructed. Many homeowners know their homes are at risk when an earthquake occurs but are unaware that they can help protect their homes with a seismic retrofit.
This year, California’s Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) grant program is expanding and now includes 395 ZIP Codes where qualifying homeowners can get up to $3,000 to offset the cost of completing a seismic retrofit. For the first time, as part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion, we are offering income-eligible homeowners a chance to qualify for newly available supplemental grants. Income-eligible homeowners with an annual household income at or below $72,080 may qualify for these new supplemental grants, which may pay for up to 100% of the retrofit cost. The amount will depend on the region and the type of retrofit completed. EBB grants help offset the cost of seismic retrofits that brace the cripple walls of older homes, when those walls are present in the crawl space, and bolt houses to their foundations, making them less vulnerable to earthquake damage.
“EBB’s growth is a testament to the importance of preparing for the next big earthquake. Bolting houses to their foundations and bracing the crawl space walls can help Californians protect their families, their homes and their investments,” said Janiele Maffei, chief mitigation officer of the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) and executive director of EBB. “We’re pleased to extend additional support to income-eligible homeowners to help cover up to 100% of the cost of a seismic retrofit, and we encourage all eligible homeowners in EBB ZIP Codes to apply for funding now.”
With $5 million in available funding, EBB will offer approximately 1,700 retrofit grants in 2021. New ZIP Codes were added to the EBB program this year, including ZIP Codes in Inglewood, Long Beach, El Centro, Santa Clara, Vallejo and other communities―meaning EBB grants are now available in a total of 170 cities and communities statewide. The program is available in ZIP Codes that rank high in terms of seismic risk and concentration of older homes. Since the EBB program was established in 2013, EBB grants have helped more than 15,700 homeowners retrofit their houses.
From October 27 through December 9, 2021, eligible homeowners can apply for retrofit grant 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. 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. For an online media kit that includes a fact sheet, b-roll and photos, visit our Press Room. For more information about this innovative program, please visit EarthquakeBraceBolt.com.
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. Residential seismic retrofits bolt the house to its foundation and add bracing, if required, around the perimeter of the crawl space making it more resistant to earthquake activity. For more information, please visit 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 CaliforniaResidentialMitigationProgram.com.
Link to the virtual press conference held on October 27, 2021: