California Wildfire Mitigation Program - Home Hardening Initiative

FAQs

What is the Home-Hardening Program?

The California Wildfire Mitigation Home-hardening Program is a partnership between California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), California Forest and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), and local communities that focuses on developing community home hardening programs to retrofit, harden, and create defensible space for homes at high risk to wildfires. This program targets high social-vulnerability communities and provide financial assistance to qualifying low-and moderate-income (LMI) households.

What San Diego communities qualified for this pilot program?

There are total of three San Diego communities that have been identified to pilot the Home Hardening Program by CAL OES and CAL FIRE. Dulzura is the first community that will participate for the year 2022. The program will be expanding to the communities of Potrero during the year 2023, and Campo during the year of 2024. It is important to note that during the pilot phase of the California Wildfire Mitigation Program development, demonstration communities will aim to harden a small number of homes. In time, the program can be expanded to other areas.

How were the communities selected to participate?

San Diego County was prioritized as a potential demonstration county after Cal OES and CAL FIRE conducted a state-wide analysis of areas with high wildfire risk and high social vulnerability (residents over age 65, residents in poverty, residents with a disability, residents with limited English, and residents without a car) at the parcel and census-tract level. Fire risk, climate change, and census data were included in the analyses.

Who can apply now?

  • Currently, we are ONLY accepting homeowner applications for the first year from the community of Dulzura area (91917). The second year, we’ll be accepting homeowner applications from Potrero. The 3rd year, we will be accepting the homeowner applications from Campo.
  • Only the legal homeowner may apply - the applicant must be the name on the deed.
  • Single Family, Multi-family (no apartment complexes), duplexes, quadplexes, manufactured homes, and even mobile homes.
  • Doesn't have to be a primary residence
  • Rental units permitted; may apply for more than one property. However, the legal homeowner must submit the application.
  • Do not have to be a US Citizen

How can I apply?

Dulzura residents can go to the California Wildfire Mitigation grant application link, wildfiremitigation.caloes.ca.gov, or email the San Diego County Fire Protection District at HomeHardening.SanDiego@sdcounty.ca.gov for additional assistance with completing the application.

What can I do if my application gets denied?

If your application is denied, you can appeal the decision. If you wish to appeal the decision, your program liaison can provide you with more information on the appeal process.

What is eligible under the program?

  • Defensible space measures: removing vegetation near structures, cleaning gutters, cutting back trees, etc
    • Zones surrounding the primary residential structure and accessory units
    • Defensible space will be prioritized before retrofit measures
  • Retrofit measures (or home hardening) that address the flammability or combustibility of structures, including replacing plastic screens with metal, replacing roofs and eaves with fire resitant materials, replacing vents, doors, decks, and more.
    • Recommendations prioritized by the vulnerability (Embers, Radiant Heat, and Flame)
    • Primary residental, then accessory units

Do I get to choose what work gets done on my property?

If your home is preliminary approved, a home assessment will be conducted, and an individualized home assessment report will be generated specific to your property. This report will contain required, recommended, and optional measures for program participation.

Do you need to come inside for the assessment?

The home assessment is an exterior review of the property and the home. It is unlikely assessors will need to go inside homes during assessments.

Do you need to come inside my house to complete the actual retrofit?

Contractors may need to enter the structure if certain retrofit measures are included for your property (for example, replacing windows, doors, vents, etc.).

Once my home is hardened, will I get an insurance discount?

Each homeowner can reach out to their individual insurance carrier to see if any of the retrofit measures may qualify them for a discount. However, no insurance discounts are guaranteed for participating homeowners.

Below are links to defensible space and retrofit resources:

Defensible Space

Low Cost Retrofit List

I