Addressing concerns around unreinforced masonry policy
The city of Portland is pursuing a policy that would require all unreinforced masonry buildings (URMs) be brought up to seismic standards by 2025.The city of Portland is pursuing a policy that would require all unreinforced masonry buildings (URMs) be brought up to seismic standards by 2025. The Alliance sent a letter to Mayor Wheeler acknowledging safety concerns from URM buildings, but also expressing concerns about mandating seismic upgrades without any financial incentives. The cost to upgrade these buildings can be significant and the city’s own policy recognizes that some buildings may be demolished as a result. The letter also points to concerns around the impact of costs related to tenant relocations, property owner’s loss of rent and whether there are alternative rentals for tenants that must vacate even temporarily. Finally, the letter urges the city not to adopt the policy until such time as financial incentives are in place and available. Read the letter.