Seismic Safety

Given Oakland's location along the Hayward Fault, seismic strengthening of residences—known as seismic retrofitting—can not only save lives, but also housing stock, better enabling Oakland to withstand the short- and long-term effects of a major disaster.

$250 Permit Retrofit Fee Program

For Single-Family and Duplex Homeowners

Happy Family in front of Houses

The $250 permit retrofit fee program, also known as, the Voluntary Seismic Strengthening Incentive Program is to encourage homeowners to complete these life- and property-saving retrofits, the City launched the New Homeowner Voluntary Seismic Strengthening Incentive Program.

This program allows new owners of older homes seeking seismic retrofits to enjoy a substantially reduced retrofit permit fee, now only $250, if their retrofit plan meets current seismic strengthening standards.


Learn more about the New Homeowner Voluntary Seismic Strengthening Incentive Program here.

Learn more about the Municipal Code here.

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California Earthquake Brace & Bolt Program

For Single-Family and Duplex Homeowners

Blueprint for seismic retrofit

The Earthquake Brace & Bolt Program (EBB) is a State of California program that helps homeowners strengthen their homes and protect against earthquake damage.

Qualifying homeowners with a household annual income of $87,360 or less can receive up to $3,000 toward a building code-compliant earthquake retrofit. Check if you qualify here.

After applying and receiving the grant, you will still need to apply for the retrofit permit through the City of Oakland.

You may also apply for the Voluntary Seismic Strengthening Incentive Program above along with the EBB program.

Apply Now

California Earthquake Soft-Story Retrofit Grant Program

For Single-Family and Duplex Soft Story Homeowners

Single Family Soft Story Home

Earthquake Soft-Story (ESS) is a pilot grant program that provides eligible California homeowners up to $13,000 toward a seismic retrofit for homes with a living space above the garage, also known as a "soft story".

After applying and receiving the grant, you will still need to apply for the retrofit permit through the City of Oakland.

You may also apply for the Voluntary Seismic Strengthening Incentive Program above along with the ESS program.

Application and registration openings depends the program, please select the button below to check its status or sign up to receive updates.

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Mandatory Soft Story Retrofit Program

For Multifamily and Non-Residential Property Owners

Homes with Garages

The City of Oakland’s Soft Story Retrofit Program works to save lives by strengthening buildings with large ground-floor openings that are particularly prone to collapse during an earthquake. See Oakland Municipal Code Chapter 15.27 for more details.

This is a mandatory retrofit program for property owners with soft stories of 5 or more units. Please note that financial aid (or assistance) is not available for this program.

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