June 4, 2018

Senators Larson, Osten Urge HUD Secretary to Provide Federal Aid for Crumbling Foundations

photo of Senators Larson and Osten.

At a private meeting today at the Tolland Fire Training Center in Tolland, state Senators Tim Larson (D-East Hartford) and Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) told federal Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson that Connecticut residents need an immediate and massive infusion of federal aid of approximately $1 billion to repair their crumbling foundations or risk losing their homes.

Sens. Larson and Osten—who represent towns affected by the crumbling concrete foundations problem—were part of a roundtable group of two dozen federal, state and local officials and affected homeowners who met with Secretary Carson in the Tolland firehouse following his tour of a Willington home suffering from cracked walls and a foundation due to the use of faulty concrete.

The 75-minute firehouse meeting was attended by Secretary Carson, Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, Congressman Joe Courtney, Sens. Larson and Osten, five state representatives, four town leaders, and three affected homeowners.

“In Connecticut we have an immediate problem that means we have to figure out how to fix these structures if people are to remain in their homes. We need real money from the federal government to begin fixing these structures. I don’t care if it’s FEMA, the EPA, or the Army Corps of Engineers—we are facing a tsunami of cases,” Sen. Osten told Secretary Carson. “I’m going to put a number on it: we need a billion dollars coming into Connecticut.”

As of May 31, 2018, 668 homeowners from 12 Connecticut towns have filed complaints with the state Department of Consumer Protection stating that they believe their home’s foundation is deteriorating due to the use of potentially faulty concrete. It is estimated that tens of thousands more homes could be affected.

Secretary Carson said he would bring Connecticut’s concerns to President Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“It makes a big difference when you witness something yourself rather than just being briefed on something,” Secretary Carson told the group. “I can’t even imagine how horrible this is to the people going through it. It’s like a slow-motion disaster playing out. I will certainly be talking and cooperating with FEMA and the president to help them understand the magnitude of what is going on.”

“The secretary clearly listened, saw, and understands how devastating this problem is,” Senator Larson said. “Now it’s incumbent on him to bring this message back to the president so we can get the help we need from the top-down.”