Deadline Fast Approaching for Earthquake Retrofit Grant Program


To ensure Californians have the resources they need to stay safe during an earthquake, funding is available for homeowners to make much-needed earthquake preparedness retrofits to their homes. The Earthquake Soft-Story Retrofit Grant Program is accepting applications for homeowners until May 31, 2023.

Funding for the Earthquake Soft-Story Retrofit Grant Program is provided through our federal partner’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program, administered by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Eligible homeowners could receive up to $13,000 in grant reimbursement funds to earthquake ready their homes.

Specifically, eligible California homeowners can receive reimbursement funding to retrofit their homes that have a living space above a garage. Also known as a “soft story,” these seismic safety conversions are more susceptible to catastrophic damage during intense seismic activity.

“Cal OES continues its effort to encourage Californians to plan and prepare their communities for earthquakes. The Earthquake Soft-Story Retrofit Grant Program is one important way homeowners can strengthen their homes in seismically active areas. We are collaboratively working with the California Residential Mitigation Program by administering the federal funds that are provided for this program to assist Californians to retrofit their homes.” – Lori Nezhura, Deputy Director of Planning and Preparedness from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services


Homeowners who live in any of the 82 zip codes located in Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, Pasadena and Los Angeles with homes that have a “soft story,” and whose house was built prior to 2000 are eligible for the grant.

To see if your home qualifies click HERE.


Homeowners can apply now while the registration remains open until May 31, 2023.

  • Head to CRMP’s website in order to apply online
    • A paper registration can be requested HERE but its highly encouraged to apply online.
    • Individuals who require accommodations and need a third party to complete registration will need to submit a Registration Authorization Form with the application.
  • Applicants will be need to complete a list of qualification questions completely and accurately.


Once the registration closes on May 31, 2023, eligible homeowners will be randomly selected, and each application will be reviewed. During the selection and approval process homeowners will be notified via email whether they have been selected to participate or have been placed on the waitlist. Throughout the program, additional homeowners from the waitlist may be added if spaces become available. Being placed on the waitlist does not, however, guarantee eligibility or inclusion into the program.

Homeowners who’ve applied for this grant should not obtain permits or begin retrofitting their homes before being accepted into the program.


Once accepted into the program, homeowners will have 90 days to gather pre-retrofit photos and documents and hire a contractor form the program’s Contractor Directory. The program will then notify the homeowner that the documentation has been approved to begin retrofit construction and will have six months (180 days) to complete. Reimbursement grants will then be issued upon completion and approval of the project and homeowners.

For more information on steps to an Earthquake Soft-Story retrofit, click HERE.

About the Earthquake Soft-Story Retrofit Grant Program

This program is managed by the California Residential Mitigation Program (CRMP), administered by Cal OES and funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).