Crumbling Foundations Bill Making Headway at Legislature

Homeowners have begged the state for assistance in fixing their crumbling foundations. There are now more details about a wide ranging bill that could help.It will use grants, loans, and other relief--mostly paid for by taxpayers. The bill made it out of a Senate committee with bipartisan support.

The 37 page bill will likely go through a lot more changes if it passes. But legislators appear pretty confident help is on the way. Most who spoke at a news conference come from the north central part of the state, where crumbling foundations have become a scourge for towns, and homeowners.

Senator Tony Guglielmo remarked, “The thing that was good about it we had people from Stamford, from New Haven, who voted with us.”

The bill sets up a crumbling foundations fund to give homeowners grants of $150,000, or 75 percent of their repair cost…to help make them whole again.

Senator Tim Larson said, “The initial money would be a grant…that other 25 percent we're thinking there'd be low interest loans that would be available through a number of different programs”

The bill proposes bringing money into the crumbling foundations fund by putting a $12 annual surcharge on every residential home, and renter’s insurance policy in our state. Legislators say they will also ask the state to get the crumbling foundations fund started with $35 million in seed money.

Representative Tim Ackert said he is not sure how well that will go over.

They admit they don’t know how well that will go over, “You hear legislators say why is it government's role to fix this? Because we had some knowledge of it, and we didn't move.”

Linda Tofolowsky was one of the first people to sound the alarm years ago about crumbling foundations in 2003. She said this is a strong start to solving the crumbling foundations issue, and she is proud of our state government.

“I don't care what side of the aisle you're from, they're working together as a team, and they're doing a good job.”

The plan, not spelled out in this bill, is to help the people in most dire need first. The hope, is that it will also bring a lot of people out of the woodwork who have so far been silent about their crumbling foundations.

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