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New State Program Launches to Help Finance Residential and Small Business Seismic Retrofitting

Program to be Effective in January

October 28, 2016
The California Seismic Safety Capital Access Loan Program (CalCAP/Seismic Safety) Financing Program will be offering a $10 million program to help with seismic retrofitting.
Funds will be accessed through participating banks and is designed to help California small businesses and residential property owners (including multiunit dwellings and mobile homes registered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development) with financing costs to seismically retrofit existing buildings and homes.
The maximum enrolled loan amount is $250,000 and can be insured for up to 10 years. Lenders set all of the terms and conditions of the loans. Loans can be short or long-term, have fixed or variable rates, be secured or unsecured, and bear any type of amortization schedule.
Created through AB 1230 (Chapter 787, Statutes of 2016), the new program is based on the California Capital Access Program (CalCAP), which the California Pollution Control Financing Authority has administered since 1994. CalCAP is a form of loan portfolio insurance that may provide up to 100 percent coverage on certain loan defaults. By participating in CalCAP, lenders have available to them a proven credit enhancement to meet the financing needs of California's small businesses.
Eligibility Details
These loans can be used for seismic retrofit construction alterations performed on or after Jan.1, 2017, of a qualified building or its components to substantially mitigate seismic damage.
Seismic retrofit construction includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:
  • Anchoring the structure to the foundation;
  • Bracing cripple walls;
  • Bracing hot water heaters;
  • Installing automatic gas shutoff valves;
  • Repairing or reinforcing the foundation to improve the integrity of the foundation against seismic damage;
  • Anchoring fuel storage; and
  • Installing an earthquake-resistant bracing system for mobile homes that are registered with HCD. 
Eligible Lenders
Any federal or state-chartered bank, savings association, certified Community Development Financial Institutions, or credit union is eligible to participate in CalCAP. A lender must certify that it is in good standing with its regulatory body (Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Comptroller of Currency, Thrift Supervision, National Credit Union Administration, or state banking authority). Finance Lenders, micro lenders and others regulated by the Department of Business Oversight may also be eligible.
Information and Contacts
The State Treasurer’s Office (STO) provides a webpage for people to subscribe to all of the office’s Listservs for further updates and information.
STO has a complete contact list for the California Pollution Control Financing Authority.

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