SHERMAN OAKS—Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks) lobbied and won $3 million to retrofit 1,000 homes to improve earthquake safety.

The funding will expand the range of the California Residential Mitigation Program’s Earthquake Brace and Bolt (EBB) retrofit incentive program, which was originally slated to cover only 650 houses.

The purpose of the EBB, according to its project overview, is “to help homeowners lessen the potential for damage to their houses during an earthquake.” To qualify, houses must be constructed before 1979, have a raised wooden first floor, and have a “cripple wall” (a short, wood-framed wall) surrounding the crawl space. In an earthquake, these unbolted homes may shear off their foundations as the cripple wall gives way.

Through the program, eligible homeowners receive a tax-exempt grant of up to $3,000 to brace the cripple wall and bolt the house to its foundation. Such retrofits can cost between $2,000 and $10,000; in an earthquake, homes that have not been retrofitted can suffer damages up to $400,000.

Approximately 1.2 million homes in California could benefit from this retrofit, and many of those homeowners want to take advantage of the EBB. More than 2,000 people applied for the grant when applications were last open.

“I would like to thank Assembly Member Adrin Nazarian, who chairs the Assembly Budget Subcommittee, for his tremendous leadership in placing funding for Earthquake Brace and Bolt in the budget … and Governor Jerry Brown for maintaining this funding in the budget,” Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said in a press release on the subject.

California Earthquake Authority CEO Glenn Pomeroy agreed, saying, “There is a huge need to retrofit older homes, especially in high hazard areas. This action will boost our efforts to make financial assistance available to homeowners as we continue to grow the Earthquake Brace and Bolt program.”