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Seismic Retrofitting Program for Soft-Story Multifamily Housing

The California Residential Mitigation Program (CRMP) is currently developing a new earthquake retrofit grant program to support the retrofit of multifamily homes. CRMP manages two other residential earthquake retrofit grant programs, Earthquake Brace + Bolt and Earthquake Soft-Story, that help to protect single-family homes in California.

The goal of the Seismic Retrofitting Program for Soft-Story Multifamily Housing (Program) is to support earthquake retrofitting of at-risk multifamily housing structures, which are older buildings with between two and 20 units with “tuck-under” parking or commercial space on the ground floor, beneath the living area.

What is an Earthquake Retrofit?

An earthquake, or "seismic," retrofit strengthens an existing building, making it more resistant to earthquake activity such as ground shaking and soil failure to lessen the potential for damage to these buildings during an earthquake. The seismic retrofit generally involves adding bracing to the ground floor of the structure to prevent lateral movement and collapse.

Soft-Story Vulnerability

A soft-story building has a ground floor that is significantly weaker than the upper floors, such as when the ground floor is used for parking or for commercial purposes or has been converted into living space without proper structural reinforcement.

Soft-story buildings are vulnerable to earthquakes because the weaker ground floor can collapse, causing the upper floors to pancake down on top of it. This can result in widespread damage and loss of life, as was the case with the Northridge Meadows apartment collapse in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake (M6.7).

The Program, once developed, will provide funding to help building owners retrofit their buildings and address this vulnerability.

Latest Program development Updates

We will update this page with new information as it becomes available. Please Contact Us with any questions.

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