SAN LEANDRO (KPIX 5) – What if someone offered to give you thousands of dollars for a home improvement project? San Leandro is offering residents that amount to retrofit their homes for an earthquake.

A seismic retrofit can cost a lot of money. “It can run up to $10,000,” said Jerry Smith of the City of San Leandro.

But now, San Leandro is one of six California cities where residents can get $3,000 worth of help.

“We are by far the smallest municipality in the state, and the only reason we were chosen was because we offer the class,” Smith said.

That’s right, San Leandro wants you to do it yourself.

“And we literally teach you – from A to Z – how to do it. That including hands on, using the tools, drilling some holes, putting some glue into the holes and all that,” Smith said.

Jerome Lenoir of Quake Busters has been doing retrofit work for more than 20 years. He said the cost of retrofitting varies, but said $3,000 can go a long way to making a small home safer. “Definitely a step towards making a home stronger,” he said.

When asked if it was realistic for a do-it-yourselfer to perform a seismic retrofit, Lenoir said, “I think a homeowner can do quite a bit of this themselves. They would have to be somewhat handy already.”

For 100 homeowners in San Leandro, it could make all the difference. “They’ve really encouraged their population to get ready for the next big one They deserve credit for that,” Lenoir said.

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