Saud Anwar

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working For You

March 21, 2019

Senator Anwar, Housing Commissioner Mosquera-Bruno, Town Leaders See Damage of Crumbling Foundations First-Hand

WILLINGTON, CT – Today, State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor), Department of Housing Commissioner Selia Mosquera-Bruno, Stafford Republican First Selectman Mary Mitta and Shelton Republican Mayor Mark Lauretti got a first-hand look at the impact of the continuing crisis of crumbling foundations in Connecticut. The bipartisan group visited the Willington home of Tim Heim, the President of the Connecticut Coalition Against Crumbling Basements, who gave them a tour of his basement that continues to deteriorate due to faulty concrete in the foundation.

Heim showed the significant damage in his basement, with cracks visible on many of the room’s walls. He illustrated the significance of the issue by using a level to show the slope of the walls shifting as the concrete deteriorates, putting the home’s structural safety at risk. Heim told the officials he has been working since 2015 to try and save his home despite significant barriers in his way, including the high cost of repairing the foundation. The five discussed the significant financial impact the homes could have on towns and cities, reducing property values and grand lists among other issues.

Thousands of homes in the north, east and central parts of Connecticut could be deemed uninhabitable or require repairs costing hundreds of thousands of dollars due to the presence of the chemical pyrrhotite in the concrete used to pour their foundations, according to the Connecticut Department of Housing. The 3rd District is one of the hardest-hit areas of the state, and Sen. Anwar has worked in the past as mayor of South Windsor to find relief for those impacted.

Pyrrhotite was found to regionally originate in a quarry located in Willington. The mineral causes deterioration of concrete foundations if the concrete is exposed to oxygen and water. The damage can take more than a decade to become visible. Dozens of towns in Connecticut may have homes compromised by pyrrhotite.

“I am grateful to the Commissioner for making the crumbling foundation disaster one of her top priorities,” said Sen. Anwar. “Just two weeks into the job, she has personally come to visit the homes and understand the issues. As co-chair of the Housing Committee, I look forward to working with the Commissioner to make sure that the Department of Housing is able to play an important role in finding solutions and support for the families.”

“Seeing it personally gives me a different way of thinking about crumbling foundations,” said Commissioner Mosquera-Bruno. “It’s not just something people are talking about; it’s an issue impacting so many. I feel the pain of the homeowners, who put their investments, their savings and their financial resources all their lives into their homes. They’re now in situations where they’ll have to redo their homes. Their dreams falling down to Earth are just devastating. I will do whatever I can to help.”

“I appreciate Sen. Anwar’s efforts and dedication to coming up with remediation for the affected homeowners and victims of crumbling foundations,” said Heim. “I also appreciate him getting involved in August of 2015 and he’s still involved very intensely today. It’s a bipartisan effort and a bipartisan solution, and that’s the reason why we’re here today. Everybody from both sides of the aisle came together and put their political affiliation aside and focused on what matters, the people here in Connecticut who just lost what they’ve worked for all their lives.”

“I have had a long relationship with the Commissioner of Housing and I have become very familiar with the crumbling foundations issue in Eastern Connecticut during my campaigning for Governor in the state,” said Lauretti, who pursued a campaign for Governor in the 2018 election. “I’ve really developed a compassion for the people here and the problems they have to deal with. It’s really important for people in other parts of the state to understand the devastation here, and how that devastation will impact the state as a whole.”

“I’d like to thank the Commissioner for coming out to eastern Connecticut to take a look at what’s going on,” said Mitta. “We need someone proactive like her who will continue to fight for the eastern part of Connecticut.”

State Senator Saud Anwar, second from left, speaks to, from left, Connecticut Coalition Against Crumbling Basements President Tim Heim, Department of Housing Commissioner Selia Mosquera-Bruno and Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti in Heim’s home, its cracked foundation behind them.