Earthquake Retrofits (Brace & Bolt)

Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) was developed to help homeowners lessen the potential for damage to their houses during an earthquake. A residential seismic retrofit strengthens an existing older house, making it more resistant to earthquake activity such as ground shaking and soil failure. The seismic retrofitting involves bolting the house to its foundation and adding bracing around the perimeter of the crawl space.

An Earthquake Brace + Bolt retrofit is in compliance with Appendix Chapter A3. Appendix Chapter A3 is specific to light, wood-frame houses. This is why it is important to make sure your house has a foundation that is in compliance. Qualifying foundations are concrete and reinforced masonry and include cripple walls or stem walls.

A slab on grade foundation, unreinforced masonry or stone foundation do not qualify for this type of retrofit.

Appendix Chapter A 3 allows:

  • a prescriptive plan for houses that sit directly on their foundation (BOLT-ONLY RETROFIT);
  • a prescriptive plan for houses with cripple walls less than 4 feet tall (BRACE AND BOLT RETROFIT); and,
  •  an engineered solution for cripple walls 4-feet or taller (ENGINEERED SOLUTION). 

All retrofit work that complies with Chapter A3 is done in the crawl space and around the perimeter of the foundation. The approved retrofit is for bolting and bracing--anchor bolts or foundation plates and plywood or OSB sheathing on the perimeter cripple walls.

  • Bolting=anchor bolts or foundation plates
  • Bracing= plywood or OSB sheathing 
  • An engineered solution is unique to each house 

EBB also requires properly strapping the water heater. During past earthquakes, water heaters have moved or tipped over if they were not securely anchored to adjacent walls or floors. This movement has resulted in gas line or water line leaks, and electrical wiring damage. Gas line leaks and damaged electrical wiring pose health and fire hazards, and water line leaks can cause significant and costly property damage

The City of Hayward Earthquake Brace and Bolt Retrofit program

The City of Hayward Brace and Bolt Retrofit Program is offering free earthquake retrofits to qualified residents who own and live in their homes. Repairs are completed by FEMA trained contractors. In addition, the City of Hayward’s Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program may assist with additional repairs that meet City and HUD criteria. 

Applicants must provide verifiable documentation of eligibility as (1) a member of the household is a senior (age 62 and older),  or certified severely disabled, AND (2) HUD qualified low income. Program applicants must provide at least two forms of income verification (tax return, SSI/SDI payments, etc.) for all household occupants over the age of 18 years old.

LOAN PROGRAM TERMS: The City provides a deferred loan with an interest rate of 0%. Loan repayment is deferred until transfer of title, sale of property or death of borrower, whichever comes first. The loan can be repaid in full at any time. Homeowner must maintain at least 20% equity in the home after repairs are complete. Additional information regarding income and finances will be required prior to loan signing.

LOAN RESTRICTIONS: City policy is to offer one-time assistance per property. The homeowner must occupy the property for a minimum of five (5) years after the repairs are complete. Repairs are limited to owner-occupied, single family properties. Rental housing, townhomes and condominiums are not eligible for this program. The household must 1) not be in violation of any local codes and/or ordinances – or – 2) the proposed rehabilitation project must correct those violations. The homeowner and all those living in the household must not be in violation of any criminal or civil laws. Where multiple health and safety concerns or code violations exist, funds are restricted to $25,000 and must be sufficient to resolve those concerns completely. It is not within the intended scope of the program to undertake projects where substantial rehabilitation of a home would be necessary to restore it to a condition considered safe for residential use.

ELIGIBLE REPAIRS: Repair requests must meet the criteria listed below, and are prioritized by risk to health and safety or repairs required to mitigate violations. Brace and Bolt repairs will be scheduled in conjunction with Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program repairs.

1. Improved accessibility: Eligible work includes modifications to the home that would improve residents’ ability
to use wheelchairs, canes, crutches, or walkers; or would aid in the performance of “activities of daily living
(ADLs)” such as eating, bathing, or toileting. Examples of eligible work are ramps, single-handle doors and
faucets, safety grab bars, and bathing accessibility alterations.
2. Code corrections: Eligible work includes the correction of violations documented in citations issued by safety,
code enforcement or mobile-home park personnel. Examples of eligible work include broken doors and
windows, tarped roofs, vegetation that prevents safe entry/exit of the home.
3. System Failures: Eligible work includes leaking roofs, rehabilitation of failing or inoperable systems including
plumbing, electrical, or heating/air conditioning.
FY 2015-16 Income Limits:











$0 - $22,300

$0 - $25,100$0 - $27,850$0 - $30,100$0 - $32,570$0 - $36,730$0 - $40,890
VERY LOW INCOME$19.501 - $32, 550$22, 201 - $37,200$25,101 - $41,850$27,851 - $46,450$30,101 - $50,200$32,571 - $53,900$36,731 - $57,600$40,891 - $61,350
LOW INCOME $32,551 - $50,150$37,201 - $57,300$41,851 - $64,450$46,451 - $71,600$50,201 - $77,350$53,901 - $83,100$57,601 - $88,800$61,351 - $94,550