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New Pilot Project Helps Portland Homeowners Strengthen Their Homes

A new pilot project for seismic upgrades will give some Portland homeowners the opportunity to strengthen their homes against earthquakes.

A model of a home demonstrates earthquake resistant modifications.

A model of a home demonstrates earthquake resistant modifications.

Sergio Cisneros/OPB

The pilot project is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  It awarded to the state and city Emergency Management agencies $100,000 to test seismic upgrades for about 30 homes.

Residents in the pilot project will receive funds to cover about 75 percent of the cost of the improvements.

Steve Novick is a commissioner in Portland. He says the seismic upgrades are preventive measures that homeowners should take.

When the earthquake hits, things are going to be tough in Portland for a while and some people might just leave and never come back. So I really see bolting people’s houses down as an investment in the future of this city.

Novick says the hope is to eventually allocate more money for seismic upgrades.

The City of Portland estimates about 100,000 homes need help to withstand an earthquake. Many were built prior to 1974.