Living spaces above garages typically do not withstand earthquake shaking. Federally funded grants can cover up to 75 percent of the cost to retrofit yours. Complete a simple online form by May 31, 2023 to be considered.
Berkeleyans who fill out a simple online registration form can get up to $13,000 to retrofit living spaces above garages – structures particularly prone to collapsing in an earthquake.
Registering enters you in a lottery, which the state will use to randomly select recipients for these grants – which can cover up to 75 percent of the total cost of the retrofit.
To qualify, these Berkeley properties must be:
- Owner occupied
- Built prior to 2000
- Have one floor of living space over a garage
- Be in zip codes 94702, 94703, 94704, 94705, 94707, 94708, 94709, or 94710
Berkeleyans have had great success qualifying for state-run retrofit lotteries for earthquake rebates. For other earthquake retrofit lotteries since 2016, at least 516 Berkeley homeowners received rebates totaling nearly $1.55 million in state funding.
Register your property by May 31, 2023.
Rebates can be used for several types of retrofits
Wait to hear that you’ve been accepted into the Earthquake Soft-Story program before applying for any permits.
Seismic Retrofit work may include:
- Strengthening the walls at the garage door or any other large openings with plywood or other elements, such as steel columns or proprietary shear elements
- Bracing the perimeter walls of the lowest story
- For properties with crawl spaces, the cripple walls may also be required to be braced and the house bolted to its foundation.
You can see descriptions of retrofit work that qualifies on the website of the California Residential Mitigation Program, which is administering these funds.
Retrofit construction work must not begin before being notified that your pre-retrofit documents have been approved.
Those are details you’ll have to address later if selected. For now, just take the next step. Take a few minutes and register to see if you qualify for up to $13,000 to better protect living space you may have over a garage.
Note: This message was updated on June 29, 2023 to clarify that this retrofit program is federally funded.