As part of the State of California’s initiative to strengthen community-wide resilience against wildfires, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has partnered with the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) to develop a community home hardening program to retrofit, harden, and create defensible space for homes at high risk to wildfires—with a focus on high social-vulnerability communities and providing financial assistance for low- and moderate- income (LMI) households. The community home hardening concept comes from the latest fire science—the more homes hardened in a community, the lower the risk of wildfire impacts.
In coordination with state and local partners, the program will establish a community home hardening framework and process that can be modeled statewide. The program will provide the opportunity for California communities to leverage funding opportunities and adapt the program to address local community resilience needs.This program is currently operating in select demonstration communities with the goal of expanding across the state in 2023.
PATHWAY TO A MORE RESILIENT AND HARDENED CALIFORNIA
Perform capacity building in demonstration communities to prepare to implement home hardening programs
Leverage the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) and state funding to harden homes in demonstration communities
Continue to implement projects funded by HMGP, leveraging state match, in demonstration communities Expand program throughout the state, contingent on state and federal funds
2025 and Beyond
Continue leveraging HMGP to increase the number of hardened homes and strengthen community resilience to wildfires, contingent on state and federal funds
How do homeowners participate?
Currently, this program is only being offered in a small number of demonstration communities through direct homeowner outreach.
How can a local government participate?
The California Wildfire Mitigation Program is currently working with a small number of demonstration communities. Non-demonstration communities that are interested in developing a local home hardening program are encouraged to apply through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. More information on how to apply for this program can be found on our 404 Hazard Mitigation Webpage.
What defines low- and moderate-income households?
Households with an income no greater than 80% of the area median income.
To what standard will homes be hardened?
Technical experts are developing standards that align to California Building Code Chapter 7A, CAL FIRE’s low-cost retrofit list, and incorporates the latest in fire science research.