The state has made major progress dealing with the issue of crumbling concrete in home foundations, but still has a long way to go.
Five years ago NBC Connecticut Investigates broke the story about hundreds of homes with defective, crumbling basements that need replacing. The issue was caused by defective concrete from a now-defunct company used between 1983 and 2016.
This time last year Maureen Griffin and her family had a concrete basement full of cracks, concerned how long it would hold up.
Fast forward, and the home has been lifted, put back down, the basement replaced.
“It’s relief, it’s true relief, and gratefulness, because it wouldn’t have happened without the program,” Griffin said.
The state program is run by the Connecticut Foundation Solutions Indemnity Company, or CFSIC. It has given out millions in government funds to help repair 168 basements so far in northeast Connecticut. The fix for such issues costs roughly $200,000 that most insurers don’t cover.
“The stress level is so much better,” Griffin said.
The Capitol Region Council of Governments says in the short term two things are needed to keep this momentum: the legislature needs to push out CFSIC’s 2022 sunset date so it can keep dispensing funds another five to 10 years, and it needs to get that money to people with crumbling basements faster.
“We’re moving down the pipeline but at the moment it’s going to be pretty slow progress”, said Lyle Wray, executive director of the Capitol Region Council of Governments.
Advocates for people with crumbling basements would like to see the $10-12 million coming in each year from the Healthy Homes Fund to pay for a revenue bond, which would create a larger bundle of money right now to help the hundreds lined up for assistance.
“Neither of those things are really dollar cost to the legislature. So that’s the good news," Wray explained.
The Healthy Homes Fund helps pay for crumbling basements and other housing problems across the state through a $12 surcharge on everyone’s homeowner’s insurance.
It will be needed for some time. Experts who have studied this issue believe there may be another 4,000-6,000 homes in Connecticut state with this problem.