On the same day that a 6.8-magnitude earthquake shook up Seattle, the California Department of Insurance announced the implementation of Phase 6 of its Earthquake Retrofit Grants Program in two new counties, Monterey and San Benito.
The CDI will also re-open previous phases of the grant program in Napa and San Diego Counties, Insurance Commissioner Harry Low announced on Feb. 28. The program, which allows low- to moderate-income households to apply for grants to retrofit their homes, began in 1996, and since then has paid for retrofitting approximately 1,005 homes.
This number could increase significantly in coming years, as the CDI was recently awarded a $500,000 Federal Emergency Management Agency grant to expand its present retrofit program. Federal disaster funds became available through FEMA following the Napa earthquake on Sept. 3, 2000.
Working with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, the CDI developed a FEMA grant application to win the award. The CDI plans to use these funds in Napa, San Bernardino, Santa Cruz and Kern Counties, each of which have long waiting lists of retrofit grant applicants.
To qualify for the grant, homeowners must first meet the CDI definition of low-to-moderate income households, along with other stated requirements. The CDI is accepting grant applications from homeowners in all Phase 6 counties until April 13, 2001.
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