Tim Larson and Cathy Osten Propose Plan to Aid Homeowners with Crumbling Concrete Foundations
Senators Tim Larson (D-East Hartford) and Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) today announced their plan to help an untold number of Connecticut homeowners struggling to replace faulty home foundations containing the mineral pyrrhotite that has caused them to begin cracking and crumbling.
Sen. Larson, has been working closely with Senator Osten, affected homeowners, Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan Harris, Attorney General George Jepsen, Congressman Joe Courtney and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman to find a solution to the financial concerns of affected homeowners and to identify the true number of homes affected.
Senator Larson, whose district includes towns where homeowners have come forward seeking help with their faulty foundations, is proposing that Connecticut authorize towns where homes are affected to adopt by local ordinance a loan program and raise municipal bonds— like they already do to fund local road repairs and other capital improvement projects—to provide funds to eligible homeowners to assist with the replacement their severely damaged foundations.
“People, including me, are tired of endless meetings about this issue when what they really want and need is a solution,” said Sen. Larson. “We believe this is a much bigger problem across eastern Connecticut than it appears to be on paper because only a small number of property owners have come forward, and that is largely because there hasn’t been a solution proposed that would actually help them recover from this financial devastation.”
Senator Larson suggests towns should authorize municipal bonds to create a pool of funding which affected homeowners would be able to access through an application process to fix or replace their faulty foundations.
“More people will come forward when they can be assured that there is a funding mechanism in place, and they don’t have to feel like they have to hide this problem from anyone, because it is going to be fixed and they will be made whole,” said Senator Osten. “These funds will serve as a literal life-line for homeowners and will help secure the largest financial investment many of them will make in their lifetime.”
Homeowners who have already repaired their crumbling concrete foundations could apply for grants retroactively, as long as they can prove through receipts that work was necessary due to crumbling concrete.
Senator Larson believes that the best way to move forward is to let local towns determine how they want to participate in the program—by bonding low-interest loans or direct grants to residents.
“Senator Osten and I are still working with Commissioner Harris and the lieutenant governor, as well as with banks, insurance companies, the attorney general’s office and others, to fine-tune the details—but I believe this is a real and viable solution that will have a tremendous impact on local homeowners that does not put the financial well-being of the towns in serious jeopardy,” said Sen. Larson.
Officials said that a strict application process would need to be in place in order to ensure that the money being granted to property owners is not misappropriated for issues unrelated to crumbling foundations.