PORTLAND – A new pilot project will give a group of Portland homeowners the opportunity to upgrade the seismic safety of their homes.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick and Clean Energy Works (CEW) CEO Derek Smith made the announcement on Thursday.
Money for the project comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which awarded the Oregon Office of Emergency Management and the City of Portland’s Bureau of Emergency Management $100,000 to test simultaneous seismic and energy upgrades for approximately 30 homes.
“We are at some point going to have the big earthquake, ” said Commissioner Novick. “The last one hit around 1700. It’s going to come around again.”
Homeowners in the pilot project will receive funds to cover approximately 75 percent of the cost of the seismic upgrades. The goal is to test the feasibility of including seismic upgrade services as part of the overall home upgrade program services provided through Clean Energy Works in the future.
Clean Energy Works’ Derek Smith says it’s estimated that over 100,000 homes in the Portland area are in need of a seismic upgrade – the majority of which are older homes built before 1970. He says most of those homes don’t have their frames bolted to the foundation.