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Assemblymember Rodriguez, CEA, & Stakeholders Celebrate Preservation of $15 Million in the State Budget to Fund the Multifamily Seismic Retrofit Matching Grant Program

For immediate release:

(Sacramento, CA) – Today, Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D – Pomona) held a press conference celebrating the preservation of $15 Million in the State Budget to Fund the Multifamily Seismic Retrofit Matching Grant Program. Last year, Assemblymember Rodriguez successfully fought to obtain $250 million in this year’s General Fund to establish this retrofit program. While it was proposed to be cut this year, this $15 million was preserved. The remaining $235 million of his original allocation will be augmented should the funds be available in the future.

“As a career first responder and the first-ever Chair of the Emergency Management Committee, I know California is a disaster-prone state, and increasing our preparedness before disaster strikes is critical to our recovery. We are overdue for a major earthquake in our state, and when I look back at my experiences during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, I see deaths, injuries, and multiple collapsed buildings that could have been avoided. This program will ensure the protection of Californians living in soft story multifamily housing that are most vulnerable to disaster in an earthquake,” stated Assemblymember Rodriguez.

The U.S. Geological Survey’s ShakeOut Scenario projects what would follow a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Southern California, specifically on the San Andreas Fault. Researchers projected nearly 1,800 deaths, 50,000 injuries, destruction of major utilities, and destruction of major freeways connecting the region to Phoenix and Las Vegas. This funding is a common-sense approach to protecting our residents and their homes.

Studies show that protecting existing affordable housing costs $5-10k per unit. In stark contrast, producing new affordable housing costs between $575-800k. In addition to the cost-effective benefit of this program, the timeline of retrofitting these buildings is rapid, displacing families for a short time, if at all. 

Assemblymember Rodriguez (Linktree) represents the 53rd Assembly District which includes the cities of Chino, Montclair, Ontario, Pomona, and Upland. He is Chair of the Assembly Committee on Emergency Management.