San Leandro Announces Seismic Retrofit Incentive Program

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San Leandro has been selected as one of six jurisdictions in California for inclusion in a statewide program that provides new funding for residential seismic retrofit work.

Qualified homeowners who apply and are accepted in the “Earthquake Bolt + Brace” program are eligible for an incentive payment of up to $3,000 to help pay for the costs associated with retrofitting their homes, including hiring a contractor and permit costs.

For those able to complete such repairs on their own, this program could strengthen a home at little or no cost.

“This new program provides a great opportunity for local residents to better protect their homes in the event of an earthquake,” said Mayor Stephen Cassidy.

Due to the requirements of the grant program, registration is limited to a 30-day enrollment period. Homeowners must submit their applications to the California Earthquake Authority between Jan. 15 and Feb. 15.

To qualify, houses need to be detached, composed of one to four dwelling units, built prior to 1979, be on a level or low-sloping lot, have cripple walls less than 4 feet tall (i.e. the height of the crawlspace) and have a raised foundation.

Previously completed retrofit work is not eligible for the program. Please visit www.earthquakebracebolt.com for more specific details.

This new funding opportunity is being offered through the California Residential Mitigation Program.

Such work can include bolting the framing of the house to the foundation and installing plywood on the short walls beneath the house. These added components create a load path for the shaking motion of an earthquake to travel safely back into the ground.

While there is no way to completely “earthquake-proof” a house, this type of reinforcement will increase the chances that a house will remain on its foundation during a seismic event, potentially avoiding displacement for its occupants.


San Leandro was made eligible for this funding in part because of its highly successful Home Seismic Strengthening Class, which has been offered by the City’s Building Division since 1994.

This class not only educates the public about the dangers of earthquake damage, but also teaches participants how to design and draw plans that are acceptable for obtaining permits. The Bolt + Brace program fully accepts plans that are developed as a result of this course.

The Home Seismic Strengthening Class consists of four 2-hour evening classes.

Topics covered include: an overview of earthquakes and their effects on wood structures; plan preparation; building department processes; how to hire a contractor; and, practical instruction on the tools to do the job.

They will take place from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Feb. 12, Feb. 17, Feb. 19 and Feb. 24 at the South Office Conference Room, located at 999 E. 14th St., City Hall Plaza, in San Leandro. To register, complete the online application found at the City’s Earthquake Retrofit website.

Additional course offerings will be posted in the coming months.

For additional information, please visit www.earthquakebracebolt.com or contact the City of San Leandro Building Division at (510) 577-3405.

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