If you have what is called a “Soft-Story” home, then you are in luck and should carefully read this blog for some hot-off-the-press news about seismic retrofitting and free grant money!

Earthquakes in our fair city of Los Angeles can result in catastrophic damage.  For example, even if we get just a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on the Hayward fault, the resulting damage would displace 77,000 households, a number which can rise to 152,000 households if you take into consideration other factors, such as utility outages and fires!

Many homes that could be severely damaged during an earthquake, are Soft-Story homes, which are those buildings that have one or more floors of living space built above a garage.  If you live in such a home, then you should know that your specific home is more vulnerable to earthquake damage than other homes that don’t have living spaces built above a garage.  The vulnerability of such homes to earthquake damage comes from the fact that a garage lacks structural soundness around it, and its walls are not braced to resist an earthquake’s motion.

Homeowners can protect their California Soft-Story home with a free government grant!

According to the California Earthquake Authority, this year homeowners in the greater Los Angeles region will have another way to protect their Soft-Story home against the destructive forces of earthquakes!  Such homeowners will be able to apply for a free government grant to retrofit their homes!  This is not only an investment in the long-term resiliency of your biggest investment – your home – but this also means peace of mind and the safety of your family that lives in the home.

What we are basically talking about, is free money in the form of a government grant, being offered by the California Residential Mitigation Program (“CRMP”)!  The CRMP will be offering owners of Soft-Story homes free grants of up to $13,000 each, to make their house more able to withstand seismic activity!

Interestingly, these CRMP grants are in addition to the grants offered by California’s Earthquake Brace & Bolt (“EBB”) program, to which we have devoted multiple EBB Grant money blogs over the past few years.

New California homeowners seismic retrofitting grant program?

This new Earthquake Soft-Story (“ESS”) retrofit grant program, created by the CRMP, is set to open to homeowner registration in the Spring of 2023.  The ESS Program will provide homeowners in the Greater Los Angeles region incentive grants of up to $13,000 to seismically retrofit their homes, which have a living space over the garage, so it can better withstand earthquakes.  Homeowners with a “Soft-Story” may participate in the ESS Program if their home:

  • Is located in one of the ESS program ZIP Codes listed
  • Was built prior to 2000
  • Is a single-family home
  • Has no more than two stories and
  • Has a living space or a large opening over the garage.

If your home meets the qualifications listed above, you should sign up today to be notified when ESS opens for homeowner registration!   Sign up by accessing the ESS Retrofit Grant Program website.

Who will perform the home’s seismic retrofitting?

Note that only Contractors who complete ESS training and are registered with the ESS Program can be used by homeowners to complete the ESS retrofit!  You’ll be happy to know that the professionals at Weinstein Construction have done both, and stand ready to help homeowners with their Soft-Story retrofits, as they have helped so many EBB Customers over the years!

At Weinstein Construction, we have done more than 8,000 retrofitting jobs and we are FEMA, EBB, and ESS Program approved contractors!  You don’t have to wait for the “Big One” to see if your home can withstand an earthquake!  Call us today at 818-334-6657 to schedule a free inspection and estimate with Weinstein Construction, the Los Angeles region’s best earthquake retrofitting!