Gov. proposes crumbling foundations loan program - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Gov. proposes crumbling foundations loan program

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(WFSB file photo) (WFSB file photo)

In an effort to combat the crumbling foundations of homeowners, the governor has proposed a state loan program to provide some support.

On Friday, Gov. Dannel Malloy said he submitted a legislative proposal to the General Assembly.

He said it's aimed at helping homeowners in northeastern Connecticut who are facing the deterioration of their concrete foundations.

It would create a Collapsing Foundation Interest Rate Reduction Program meant to assist some of the costs of fixing the issue. It would also waive fees associated with permit applications.

"Homeowners in the region are being severely impacted by what appears to be a natural disaster and are understandably seeking any bit of relief they can to mitigate this problem,” Malloy said. “This proposal does not represent the totality of the state’s assistance for affected homeowners, but it’s one piece of our joint efforts with local, federal, and private sector partners to provide some amount of respite for this serious situation.”

The program would be administered by the Connecticut Department of Housing, according to Malloy.

It would provide credit enhancement to homeowners in the form of interest rate subsidies for qualifying loans. Homeowners would be able to borrow funds at lower costs with a state guarantee to help them raise funds for financial assistance.

Malloy's proposal also includes allowing cities and towns to waive fees from the building permit applications associated with repairing the problem.

The measure is currently in the hands of legislature's Planning and Development Committee. It's being considered by lawmakers there.

State officials said the crumbling foundations appear to partially be the result of the breakdown of a mineral called pyrrhotite, which was used in the concrete. The breakdown has been happening from a chemical reaction with oxygen and water.

Officials determined that homes built after 1983 with materials from Becker's Quarry in Willington are at risk. The radius of impact was said to be 20 miles from the quarry.

They said the best known remedy is to completely replace the foundation, which could cost between $75,000 and $150,000, depending on the size of the house.

Last month, Malloy said he approved the release of $5 million in state funds to help homeowners. Homeowners are eligible for a 50 percent reimbursement of up to $2,000 for mineral testing.

Those who have visual testing done by a licensed professional are eligible for 100 percent reimbursement of up to $400.

Information about the reimbursements will be released in the coming weeks, according to Malloy.

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