Washington May Help With Concrete Foundations

September 23, 2016

There’s some encouraging news for homeowners with cracked or crumbling concrete foundations. Congressman Joe Courtney (D-Second District) received a letter from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development indicating the agency may be able to provide financial assistance.

As you know, hundreds of homeowners in north central and eastern Connecticut are experiencing crumbling foundations due to the naturally formed mineral, pyrrhotite, which was used to make concrete at an area quarry. Pyrrhotite, unfortunately, slowly deteriorates over time. So far, more than 300 homeowners have registered complaints of cracked or crumbling foundations with the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. The state Attorney General is investigating as well.

HUD’s letter to Courtney says that grants may be possible through the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnerships programs. The state received about $19 million combined from these programs in 2015.

But the letter explains that for funds to be made available, municipalities would have to establish a “foundation rehabilitation program.” And, the funds may only go to low and moderate income homeowners with an urgent need or to address blight conditions.

Still, the news is encouraging. Combined with an earlier plan by homeowners insurance companies to join a financial assistance fund, perhaps homeowners can begin to step back and recognize that their voices are being heard.

If you have a foundation problem you believe may be linked to this issue, Consumer Protection officials urge you to file a complaint. You can find more information on their website and Congressman Courtney’s website.