Californians can get $3,000 grants to retrofit homes for earthquake safety
On Tuesday, California Gov. Jerry Brown announced California had received $3 million from the federal government to retrofit earthquake-prone houses in areas of high risk.
The funds are part of $7 million the state Department of Housing and Community Development awarded to 11 regions to help communities retrofit their earthquake-prone property.
The funds are only the latest in a series of federal dollars sent to California to help vulnerable residents and communities prepare for or recover from natural disasters.
In California, the funds could buy seismic upgrades in homes, small businesses and other properties that could help reduce danger to people and buildings.
“When the next big earthquake hits, the people who will be hurt the most — the people who cannot move away from the shaking of the earth — will be the poorest and least-educated residents in our communities, and we need to make sure they can live there in quality housing and the community that they live in,” Brown said.
The Governor pointed out that there are more than 12 million Californians and many are highly vulnerable to earthquakes, with most living in unincorporated areas in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles.
The Governor also noted that only 11% of the state’s population has earthquake-resistant housing, and only 44% of those homes in California have earthquake-proofing.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, about 17% of the population lives in earthquake safe homes.
“The Federal Emergency Management Agency is helping our state and communities move this week from crisis to recovery,” said Michael D. Qaolle, director of Public Information, Housing and Community Development.
The funding could go toward projects that involve seismic retrofits for earthquake-prone buildings or seismic upgrades for existing buildings that could reduce seismic risk, such as those that are built to withstand earthquakes that are up to certain magnitudes. Projects that could result in higher value for the property and may include some or all of the following:
Upgrading or reconstructing building foundations or other underground anchoring;
Installing or improving floor systems to reduce seismic events;