Deal Could Help Homeowners Pay to Fix Crumbling Foundations

Connecticut has negotiated a deal with several insurance companies to create a pool of more than $50 million to help homeowners affected by crumbling foundations, the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters have learned.

The program could provide affected homeowners in Hartford, Tolland and Windham counties with up to 90-percent of the cost of replacing the damaged foundations beneath their homes.

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen acknowledged the negotiations, but released few details about the program on Wednesday.

"There has been a significant negotiation over the course of the last several months that would provide substantial relief to affected homeowners, victims of the so-called crumbling foundations," Jepsen said.

Governor Dannel Malloy told NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters that he has been directly involved in the negotiations with insurers.

"This is not going to make everybody perfectly happy because there's not a solution to do that, but it will go a greater distance than I think folks thought was possible," Malloy said.

Willington's Tim Heim, who's leading the coalition of homeowners with crumbling concrete, remains skeptical.

"If I'm offered 50, 60, 70 percent, that won't work for me! And I'll let six jurors decide," said Heim.

There is a major obstacle in making the money available. According to Jepsen, only four of 29 insurance companies that write homeowners policies in the affected Connecticut towns have agreed to take part.

"I applaud those insurance companies who have expressed an willingness to be civic minded and help out, but I'm hoping that homeowners can contact their insurance companies and urge them to take part in such a program," Jepsen said.

The timing and ultimate fate of the program will largely depend on whether those additional companies agree to participate.

Sandra Miller had to move out of her Stafford home after a structural engineer deemed it too dangerous to live in.

"For any CEO of an insurance company sitting back debating what's the right thing to do, dig into your heart and think about those of us going through this," Miller said.

State Insurance Commissioner Katie Wade said she has been working to bring insurers to the table and they've had productive discussions.

Sources told the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters that homeowners will only be eligible for the program if their insurance company signs on. Meaning, even if enough companies come forward, some people who are dealing with a crumbling foundation are likely to be left out.

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