The first success story is coming out of the crumbling foundations crisis.
A family in Tolland was the first to get their foundation fixed with help from the state.
This is a big step in the right direction four years after NBC Connecticut Investigates first broke the story.
Eighteen months after first discovering cracks in their concrete, the owners of one home finally have their foundation fixed. But, officials say it could take a decade to replace the crumbling concrete in all of the affected homes in our state.
“We don’t have enough contractors. We have a line,” explained Michael Maglaras, captive insurance superintendent.
The head of the captive insurance program created to help homeowners with crumbling foundations estimates that there are 5,000 homes in need of new foundations in Connecticut and only two dozen construction firms signed up to do the work.
“I think it’s a big endeavor to get into. We’ve probably spent in the last year probably a million dollars in equipment we’ve bought,” said James Newcity of Newcity Construction.
It took Newcity Construction just six weeks to repair Kevin and Aisling McCloskey’s Tolland home.
“There is still a little piece in me that’s angry but we kind of have to let that go and find peace,” Aisling McCloskey said.
“Today is a day of four years of hope turned into reality,” said Tim Heim of the Connecticut Coalition Against Crumbling Basements. “It was a long, hard fight.”
While the McCloskeys are paving the way for other homeowners signed up for foundation funds the work won't happen as quickly for everyone who comes after them. So far, 700 homeowners have applied.
“I’ve got homeowners signing contracts now. I won’t even get to them until the end of 2021,” Maglaras explained.
The captive is only authorized by the state legislature through June of 2022. There's not enough time nor enough money, says Maglaras. He plans to ask for an extension.
“We really think that, rough estimate, $350 to $500 million will be needed to get this job done,” he said.
The fund, paid through bonding and a $12 property tax surcharge, is only expected to receive $137 million. Single family homeowners are capped at $175,000 in assistance and condo owners get up to $70,000. Spreading the burden to Connecticut taxpayers hasn’t been without controversy.
“I know at the end of the day that there’s gonna be frustration that the insurance companies kind of got a bye on this,” Kevin McCloskey said.
Without knowing what the future will bring, Marglaras is encouraging all affected homeowners to apply sooner rather than later.
Officials say within just three weeks another 80 homes will be in the process of getting their foundations fixed.