Connecticut’s elected leaders pledged $100 million in $20 million annual portions to address the crumbling concrete basements across central and northeastern Connecticut, but an inability to release the money in a timely manner has left dozens of families in a costly state of limbo.
The funding has come through a program set up by the state that involves something called a captive insurance company.
However, the captive insurance company had to go into suspension a month or so ago due to a lack of funds, that the captive was expecting to receive July 1.
This has had Daniel Adams of Andover concerned. He has been worrying the defective crumbling concrete may not last another New England winter.
“It’s scary thinking the ground is going to freeze and is it going to push this right in.”
It has been even more frustrating, since Adams applied for, and was approved to receive, $174,000 in state funding to replace his basement in early October.
“I’m very stuck. But again, I feel fortunate compared to how many people must be with big families.”
Families like the Griffins in Enfield.
The home Dan and Maureen Griffin and their four children live in was supposed to have its defective concrete replaced September 1.
Now they don’t know when that will happen. “We were shocked. We were like, ‘but we’ve already made plans to move’”, said Dan Griffin.
Maureen Griffin added, “It’s just hard to keep everything stable, for the kids.”
Worse than the delay, this holdup has cost the cash strapped couple, and dozens of others, thousands of dollars extra.
In the Griffin’s case, $139 a month for a storage shed now sitting idly in their yard, and $1,800 a month for a temporary home they’re renting, but not living in yet.
Mike Maglaras, superintendent of the Connecticut Foundation Solutions Insurance Company, or CFSIC, admitted it encouraged homeowners to sign up with contractors even though there was a chance the funding wouldn’t be in place in time.
Maglaras told NBC Connecticut Investigates he didn’t think it would be this long a delay, and, having a set of jobs lined up and ready to go makes things easier for contractors doing this specialized work.
“With a signed contract, they have assured us that you get in line faster and stay in line for eventual scheduling, than if you have never signed the contract.”
The $20 million must be released by the state bond commission, which hasn’t met in months. Homeowners have been waiting on the governor to call the next meeting.
Gov. Ned Lamont told NBC Connecticut Investigates”It's on the agenda for the September meeting, so, we're going to get the next tranche of that money going forward.”
If the bond commission meets in late September, the crumbling concrete funding would likely get freed up by early October.
That might mean Adams can get back on schedule with his basement.
The Griffins, who were supposed to have their home lifted September 1, are not as certain.
Complicating this even further is the fact that some contractors will not lift homes up and replace concrete once winter sets in.