Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has proposed a state loan assistance program for homeowners struggling to repair and replace crumbling foundations.
The proposal, which has been submitted to the General Assembly, calls for the creation of the Collapsing Foundation Interest Rate Reduction program, which would be administered by the Connecticut Department of Housing (CTDOH). The state agency would provide credit enhancement to homeowners in the form of interest rate subsidies for qualifying loans.
Participating cities and towns, through the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA), would be able to borrow funds at lower costs with a state guarantee to help them raise funds for the development and deployment of financial assistance, Malloy said.
Part of the program allows municipalities to waive the fees associated with building permit applications for homeowners facing this problem.
The legislation was prompted by the large number of homes in the region that have suffered damage due to the reaction of a naturally occurring mineral, pyrrhotite, to oxygen and water, which erodes concrete foundations.
The presence of pyrrhotite indicates the potential for concrete deterioration, but its existence alone does not necessarily cause it. Based on complaints received by the state Department of Consumer Protection, it has been determined that homes built after 1983 with aggregate from Becker's Quarry in Willington are at risk. The radius of impact is 20 miles from the quarry.
A complete replacement of the foundation could cost roughly $75,000 to $150,000, depending on the size of the house, Malloy said.