March 17, 2017

Sen. Larson and Bipartisan Coalition of Lawmakers Announce Committee Passage of Bill to Assist Homeowners with Crumbling Concrete Foundations

State Senator Tim Larson (D-East Hartford) was joined today by a bipartisan coalition of state legislators to applaud the committee passage of a bill designed to help homeowners struggling with crumbling concrete foundations.

Senate Bill 806, “An Act Establishing The Crumbling Foundation Assistance Program And Assisting Homeowners With Crumbling Foundations,” was passed out of the Public Safety and Security Committee on March 15, 2017 and will advance to the Senate for further consideration.

“After hearing the concerns and testimony of the people who have been impacted by this crisis, our committee worked with residents, town managers, banks, insurance companies and others to develop the what we believe is a solution to mitigate the financial impact on those who have been impacted by crumbling concrete,” said Sen. Larson, co-chair the Public Safety and Security Committee. “This is not about politics, this is about people whose homes are quite literally collapsing beneath them, and it is incumbent upon us to help our residents grappling with this unimaginable situation.”

The bill would require insurance companies who provide homeowners’ and other property-related policies to collect a surcharge of $12 on each policy on or after July 1, 2018. That funding would be deposited into the Crumbling Foundation Assistance Fund along with any available funding from the state and federal governments, with the exception of Federal Emergency Management Agency funding.

“I want to praise the members of the Public Safety and Security Committee for working together to produce a bipartisan plan,” said Senate President Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven). “The anguish and uncertainty caused by these faulty foundations has impacted untold numbers of families in eastern Connecticut.”

State Representative Tim Ackert (R-Coventry) said he is committed to working toward a bipartisan solution for homeowners this session.

“This is a first step in a solution to fixing those homes that have been affected by defective concrete in their foundations,” Rep. Ackert said. “I will continue to work on behalf of those residents to get this bill passed and signed by the governor. I will not leave this session without providing these residents with some piece of legislation that helps fix this situation.”

State Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) also spoke in support of Senate Bill 806, noting that any state aid for homeowners should be coupled with a larger infusion of federal aid.

“This crumbling foundations situation has now risen to the point where we have the framework for a legislative solution—but we need federal dollars to make this a complete solution, and our congressional delegation supports seeking those federal dollars,” Sen. Osten said. “We need to take advantage of the federal lines of credit that we have available to us as a state so we can secure more money to fix these crumbling foundations. I am thrilled that we have gotten this far this soon in the legislative session, but we have continue working for those homeowners who are counting on us for a solution. Personally, I can’t wait for the day I get to visit a home whose foundation has been repaired.”

“No one should have to pay for their home twice over. This legislation allows towns to move forward with plans to provide tangible relief to families with crumbling concrete foundations,” Rep. Jeff Currey (D-East Hartford) said. “I will continue to work with Senator Larson and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to build upon the legislation passed out of committee this week.”

Administered by the Capital Region Council of Governments (CRCOG), the fund would be used to provide grants to eligible homeowners to repair or replace the cost of concrete foundations that have deteriorated or failed.

Under the legislation, homeowners would be eligible for grants of up to $150,000, or 75 percent of the total cost to repair the foundation.

Additionally, the CRCOG would have the authority to enter into a contract with the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority or another lending institution to develop and implement a long-term, low-interest loan program to assist homeowners with financing the remainder of the cost of the repair or replacement.