On January 25th, The Earthquake Brace + Bolt Program (EBB) announced that certain Santa Barbara residents for the first time can qualify for a grant toward an earthquake retrofit. The EBB has expanded its coverage in California to a total of 33 cities, including Santa Barbara. The program officially opened registration January 27 after agreeing to put $6 million in the program, a 25 percent increase from last year, and the online registration ends February 27.
Qualifying homes must have been built prior to 1979, have a crawl space with cripple walls, and are not bolted to their foundation. Eligible individuals can receive up to $3,000 in retrofit funds. A typical seismic retrofit costs anywhere from $3,000-$7,000. The website provides a list of contractors. The retrofit can lessen potential earthquake damage by strengthening the home’s foundation.
In August 2014, a 6.0 magnitude earthquake in Napa cost homeowners up to $300,000 in repairs, and some people were still not back in their homes a year later. The California Earthquake Authority found that many homeowners did not know about retrofitting or if their homes had been retrofitted. The increased funding and coverage is intended to improve awareness.