The Retrofits

How the Earthquake Soft Story Program Works

CRMP grant programs support two kinds of retrofits, each one addressing a particular kind of construction which makes a house more vulnerable to earthquake damage.

An Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) retrofit helps prevent a home with a raised foundation or crawl space beneath the ground floor from sliding or toppling off its foundation during an earthquake. In an EBB seismic retrofit, the foundation is “bolted” to the frame of the house, and when there are crawl space walls under the house, they are “braced” with plywood. If the home does not have a crawl space, a “bolt only” retrofit may be appropriate.

An Earthquake Soft-Story (ESS) retrofit reinforces houses with a living space over a garage and makes these houses more resistant to earthquake damage caused by ground shaking. In an ESS seismic retrofit, the foundation is bolted to the frame of the house, perimeter walls of the lowest story are braced, and the walls at the garage door (or any other large opening) are strengthened with plywood, steel, or other proprietary elements.

The goal is to help homeowners who have a home with a seismic vulnerability complete a retrofit to lessen the potential for damage to their house during an earthquake.

Do you qualify?

Homeowners who live in select ZIP Codes, with homes that have certain characteristics, may be eligible for a grant of up to $13,000 to help pay for a seismic retrofit of their house.


Among other criteria, EBB is specifically for those homeowners whose house was built before 1980 and has a raised foundation or a crawl space beneath the first floor. A grant of up to $3,000 is available through the EBB program. Eligible homeowners with an annual household income of $87,360 or less may be eligible for a Supplement Grant which may cover up to 100% of the cost of an EBB retrofit.


ESS is specifically for those homeowners whose house was built prior to 2000, and has a one-story living space over the garage, also known as "soft story." A grant of up to $13,000 is available through the ESS program.

The Registration Process

To be eligible for an EBB or ESS retrofit grant, homeowners must first register for a program when the registration period is open. Once registration closes, homeowners are randomly selected to participate. You will be notified by email if you are accepted into the program or have been placed on the waitlist.

What Happens Once You're in a Retrofit Program?

After you've registered, if selected to participate in a retrofit program, there are a series of steps and Program Rules you'll need to follow as you complete your retrofit.

See if Your Home Qualifies for a CRMP Retrofit

Sign Up to Receive Program Updates