Assemblymember Rodriguez Holds Press Conference Recognizing $250 Million Budget Allocation for Seismic Retrofitting Program

For immediate release:
Assemblymember Rodriguez speaking on this historical program funded by the State Budget.

(Ontario, CA) – On Thursday, July 21, 2022, Assemblymember Rodriguez held a press conference highlighting the successful allocation of state funds to establish and implement the Seismic Retrofitting Program for Soft Story Multifamily Housing. In partnership with his sponsor, the U.S. Resiliency Council, $250 million has been allocated in the 2023-24 General Fund of the Budget Act to launch this historical program.

“I want to thank the U.S. Resiliency Council for their partnership. I also want to thank Assemblymember Holden, the California Earthquake Authority, the Fair Housing Council of Riverside, the Los Angeles County Business Federation, and the Apartment Association of Orange County for their support of this program,” stated Assemblymember Rodriguez.

Providing financial assistance to owners of soft-story multifamily housing for seismic retrofitting is essential to protecting those most vulnerable to disaster in an earthquake. The U.S. Resiliency Council estimates that as many as 2.5 million Californians may live in these older, soft-story, multifamily units that were not built to withstand a major earthquake. Our disaster-prone state is overdue for another earthquake of similar scale to the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and this program will ensure the protection of our most vulnerable Californians.

“As a lifelong first responder, I have responded to thousands of 911 calls that have taught me we can never be over-prepared for emergencies. When I reflect on my experiences responding to the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, I see deaths, injuries, and multiple collapsed buildings that could have been prevented. I am proud to have championed this funding and am certain this program will prevent unnecessary destruction, injuries, and deaths,” stated Assemblymember Rodriguez.

Studies show that retrofitting existing affordable housing costs $5,000 to $10,000 per unit. However, producing new affordable housing in California costs between $575,000 and $800,000 per unit. This funding is an investment that will avoid disaster losses far greater than these retrofit costs.

“I’m proud to have worked on a measure with Assemblymember Rodriguez to improve seismic retrofitting: soft story multifamily housing because ensuring the safety of our communities starts at home. I am pleased that my colleagues in the Legislature and the Governor saw the importance of this bill and included it in the budget trailer -- safe building for Californians," stated Assemblymember Holden.