FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2015
“Instructs City Attorney to Draft an Ordinance based on Recommendations from the Mayor’s Resilience by Design Report”
Los Angeles, CA – Councilmember Gil Cedillo introduced a motion today asking the City Attorney to draft ordinance language to mandate retrofits of soft story and concrete building in the City of Los Angeles. The motion also instructs the Housing Department to report on the potential cost to tenants and landlords arising from the recommendation in the Mayor’s Resilience by Design report and identify funding strategies that may help alleviate the cost of retrofit mandates.
“As we approach the twenty-first anniversary of the Northridge earthquake, we take the first step to ensure that our City is protected in the event of a major earthquake,” stated Councilmember Cedillo.
The Resiliency by Design report recommends implementing mandatory retrofit standards for soft story buildings are to be completed within five years while concrete buildings will have 30 years to complete after passage of any said ordinance. Soft story and concrete buildings built before the implementation of Los Angeles’ 1976 revision of the building code pose a significant risk to life in strong earthquake shaking.
Currently, there are more than 29,000 wood-frame apartment buildings with five or more units built prior to 1978 (the year that California adopted the 1976 Uniform Building Code) in the City of Los Angeles, and over 15,000 of these are estimated to be soft-first-story buildings. All of them are subject to the rent-stabilization ordinance. The loss of these rent-stabilized buildings in a big earthquake would eliminate a large amount of affordable housing in Los Angeles.