Earthquake Soft-Story (ESS) Grant for Pasadena Residents Who Own a Soft-Story Home

Between now and May 31, 2023, qualified homeowners in Pasadena and Los Angeles can apply for grants of up to $13,000 to strengthen their soft-story homes against earthquake damage.

Soft-story homes that may qualify for this pilot program have one floor of living space built above a garage. These structures are vulnerable to damage because they may not be able to withstand the lateral movement from earthquake shaking. Houses with this condition may be prone to partial or full collapse during an earthquake.

Making a soft-story home more resistant to earthquake damage can be as straightforward as having a licensed contractor install new plywood sheathing or steel reinforcements on each side of the garage door and bracing the perimeter walls of the garage.

Eligible homeowners can apply for retrofit funding at Here you can also find detailed program information and select from a list of FEMA-trained, California-licensed general contractors. Participating homeowners will be selected through a random drawing and notified via email if they have been selected or if they have been placed on the waitlist after registration closes.

In California, earthquakes are not a matter of if but when. The more you can be prepared in advance, the better your outcome will be. We strongly encourage all eligible homeowners to apply for this grant funding.