Looking for financial help to make your home safer during an earthquake? Every year, the government’s Earthquake Brace and Bolt program offers subsidies to a limited number of homeowners to pay for seismic retrofits in their homes. Applications for this year’s grants will be accepted until November.
More than 1 million homes in California are in need of modernization, which takes about a day, according to Janiel Maffei, chief earthquake mitigation officer for California.
A standard seismic retrofit can cost over $ 5,000 in Southern California, which is too expensive for many. The Brace and Bolt grant can help.
The grant is offering eligible homeowners who have not yet remodeled their home up to $ 3,000 to help pay for fixing and bolting costs. Low-income homeowners can qualify for an additional $ 1,000.
Assembly Member Adrin Nazarian (North Hollywood Democrat) has called on Californians to remodel their homes even if they do not receive a grant.
“These are insignificant costs in terms of terrible damage and hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs that could be incurred in the event of damage to the home,” he said.
What is a seismic retrofit?
Earthquakes threaten to knock down the frame of a house from its foundations and destroy the walls that support it, making it unstable and uninhabitable. Seismic retrofitting solves this problem in two ways: by bolting the frame of the house to a concrete foundation and by adding plywood distortions to reinforce the walls in the suspended space below the ground floor.
These two steps proved to be the most effective method to mitigate damage from a major earthquake, Maffei said. According to her, if you have a house built before 1980, you should have a reasonable suspicion that it needs to be refurbished. New homes had to comply with building codes that were more adapted to the risks of earthquakes.
To learn more about how to keep your home safe, read The Times’ guide to seismic upgrades.
Who is eligible for the program?
To be eligible for the Brace and Bolt program, you must:
- Be able to provide proof that the home belongs to you and that this is your primary residence.
- Live in the EBB program area.
- Live in a home built before 1980.
- Have a raised foundation or underground space.
- Live in a house that stands on a flat surface or on a slight slope.
- You don’t have a seismic upgrade yet.
To qualify for an additional grant, you must also be able to prove that your annual income is $ 72,080 or less.
How to apply
To apply for the Earthquake Brace and Bolt program, visit earthquakebracebolt.com / register. The deadline for submitting applications is December 1.
Since the program does not have enough funds to meet the demand, homeowners’ entries will be drawn at random from a lottery. The EBB website warns that applicants “do not have to obtain permission or start upgrading work before being accepted into the program”; otherwise, they will be deemed unsuitable.
The $ 3,000 grant will not be paid until the applicant provides proof of completion. However, an additional grant may be obtained earlier to reimburse the applicant for the cost of the building permit and the contractor’s bond.
Do I really need to remodel my home?
If you have an older home with a walk-around, the short answer is yes.
As Steve Bohlen, acting state geologist for the California Geological Survey, said, “Most of us will not die in an earthquake, but how well you survive depends on how well you prepare.
In truth, the Bolshoi will not be some kind of catastrophic event that separates part of the state from the continental United States. However, it will affect the lives of almost every Californian.
Bohlen said there is a 99% chance that if you live in California, you will be hit by an earthquake of magnitude 6.7 or more in your lifetime.
Most Californians live within 30 miles of the rift, he said, “so it is very important to be prepared and do whatever you need to do to protect your life and property.”