who is this "us" he is talking about? because with just a little thought, you quickly realized these "billions of dollars" are just transfers from the (assumed) wealthy building owners to the less wealthy contractors and workers.
one person's cost is another's paycheck and kids tuition payment.
if the public good is really being served here by improving safety of citizens, why isn't the discussion framed more along these lines?
Where do you think these contractors/workers live and work? In buildings where the owners and renters will be forced to pay for these improvements.
Stop acting like only the rich will pay for it. Everyone will pay for it. Most people won't be able to afford it. If it becomes mandatory people will be forced to move out of the city due to the cost. Everyone will pay.