Walter McMonies was quoted in a September 28 NW News Network article and radio segment titled “Northwest States Reluctant to Force Retrofits for Buildings That Could Kill in Big Quake.” The article discusses the possibility of thousands of Oregon and Washington brick and stone buildings built before 1945, known as unreinforced masonry buildings, collapsing during an earthquake if reinforcements are not added. While seismic retrofits would likely save lives, they are costly to perform and hard to finance, and city and state governments in the Northwest have been reluctant to require them.
Attorney Walter McMonies owns several vintage apartment buildings in Portland and sits on a city seismic policy committee. He described pushback from some building owners.
“On the one hand, the city wants us to do these retrofits,” McMonies said. “The normal way that you would pay for something expensive like that that the government makes you do is raise your rents if you’re a landowner. It looks like we’re kind of between a rock and a hard place because they won’t be very gracious about us raising our rents.”
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