State Committee to Meet on Crumbling Foundations Issue

The state Planning and Development Committee of the General Assembly will meet for a four-hour session today about the crumbling home foundation problem plaguing hundreds of Connecticut homeowners. 

The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters first began reporting on the problem in July 2015 and the governor’s office has said that more than 34,000 homes might be affected by crumbling foundations and the total cost to fix the problem could be up to $1 billion. 

Gov. Dannel Malloy in January announced plans for $5 million in state funding to go toward conducting foundation testing for homes in northeastern Connecticut and the bond commission has approved it. 

The state funding will go toward testing and visual inspections of foundations to better understand the problem and offset the cost of testing for homeowners. 

Under the governor’s plan, homeowners are eligible for up to $2,000 back for testing of two core samples within their home. Homeowners will also be eligible for up to $400 back for visual testing by a professional engineer. Applicants must have homes built in or after 1983 and be within a 20-mile radius of JJ Mottes Concrete Company in Stafford Springs. 

The governor is working with the Capitol Region Council of Governments to administer the funding to homeowners. 

The state also plans to access $1 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help lower-income property owners defray the cost of testing. 

Over the past year and a half, hundreds of homeowners across Hartford, Tolland and Windham counties have discovered they have crumbling foundations. Everyone who's either spoken to NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters or has filed a complaint with the state, that knows the source of the concrete, said it's from J.J. Mottes. 

The last statement from the attorney for JJ Mottes is that the company is now out of business. 

The last full statement released to NBC Connecticut in August 2016 read: 

“In the 15 years since we took over the management of the Joseph J. Mottes Company, we have adhered to rigorous standards set forth by the American Concrete Institute and the state of Connecticut. We continue to cooperate with the ongoing state investigation so that homeowners can get the answers and real solutions they deserve. One thing that is clear to us is the extensive media and governmental scrutiny has led to another issue arising – in addition to homes affected by damage, there are now large numbers of homeowners and potential home buyers who do not have problems but are being told they will. 

“Certainly, those homes with damage need to be remedied, but a comprehensive solution is called for - one that helps those who are not financially capable of helping themselves, guards against predators of all kinds and eases the burden placed on the real estate market. We believe that effective lower cost preventive remedial actions exist, that appropriate independent authorities can and should identify these techniques, and this information needs to be widely shared and adopted.” – John Patton, spokesman, The Joseph J. Mottes Company. 

The meeting today begins at noon in the legislative office building in Hartford and covers many issues, including initial estimates from eight towns about the numbers of affected homes, the impact on municipal tax revenues and the building fee waivers. 

There will also be a review of the state Department of Consumer Protection study. 

For more on what to look for in a crumbling foundation, watch this video. 

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