New Haven residents have concerns with sinking foundations - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New Haven residents have concerns with sinking foundations

Posted: Updated:
Sinking foundations and cracked concrete are an issue in one Elm City neighborhood for years. But, now residents say it's getting worse (WFSB) Sinking foundations and cracked concrete are an issue in one Elm City neighborhood for years. But, now residents say it's getting worse (WFSB)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

Homeowners in one New Haven neighborhood said they're dealing with sinking foundations and cracking concrete.

It’s been an issue for years, but now it’s really getting bad and they're looking for help before it’s too late.

Years ago, the Westville neighborhood was built up over ponds and swamp land and the belief is that's what causing the problem with some of these homes to sink.

Channel 3 went inside one home on Friday afternoon and it’s pretty apparent.

"The biggest issue to me is the floor is sinking, especially in the furnace room and the house cracking,” New Haven resident Cheryl Jackson said. “You can hear it cracking when you're in bed."

Jackson’s home has cracks in the foundation, cracks in the walls and cracks in the floor. Outside, the steps have shifted as well.

Downstairs, inside Charles and Cheryl Jackson's finished basement on Fountain Terrace, their foundation is sinking.

"You can see the boxes tilted,” Cheryl Jackson said.

The baseboard is no longer flush with the ground, and outside, the driveway that was poured just four years ago.

"Building houses on a series of lakes, ponds, swamps,” Alder Darryl Brackeen (D-New Haven) said. “It was packed in but clearly the soil and the changes in the water table have changes drastically over the years and we're now seeing the effects of it."

Brackeen has been working with New Haven's state delegation and asking for the state to sign off on borrowing roughly $4 million for what its calling the "flooded home bond authorization." It would use the money for repairs along with a comprehensive study of the homes in the neighborhood that go back to the 1930s and 50s.

"The whole house was leaning,” Melanie Stengel, of New Haven, said. “You could actually see it from the street that it was tipped."

Stengel, who lives on Beverly Road, knows it all too well. Her house was getting repaired after it started sinking, essentially her entire basement had to be replaced.  

"I had a 5-inch-wide crack in my basement. It went all the way across,” Stengel said. “My house was leaning so bad I had to have the gas disconnected because the pipes were so bent."

That's what the Jacksons are afraid of...

"Maybe we're lucky, a year, unless it done, then we're out of here,” Cheryl Jackson said. “I can't afford to stay here.  If the hot water tank leans anymore or goes down, pulls the gas line, there goes the house."

Four years ago, local legislators received one and a half million dollars in state bonding to help a couple of homes in Westville and Woodbridge.

As for this current request, local leaders said they don't expect to hear until next year.

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.