The state is expanding a program to reimburse owners of homes with crumbling foundations and allowing those who own homes farther away from the concrete company to apply for help.
The state initially allowed affected homeowners within 20 miles of the former .J. Mottes Concrete Company in Stafford Springs to apply. Now residents who live more than 20 miles away are eligible for a waiver under the Crumbling Foundations Testing Program, according to the state Department of Housing.
Gov. Dannel Malloy previously said the state was making funds available to provide assistance with costs of testing foundations for homeowners, allowing the state to get a better data on the scope of the situation while providing homeowners with another level of financial relief.
The issue of the crumbling basements is connected to concrete poured from 1983 through about 2013 that has the naturally occurring mineral pyrrhotite in it. When exposed to air or moisture, it can cause cracking, according to reports.
After the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters spent years focusing on the crumbling concrete issue, the state passed a budget with tens of millions in grants for those affected.
The Crumbling Foundations Testing Program has received 361 applications and provided over $163,000 in reimbursements so far, according to the state Department of Housing.
“Testing homes is one of the most crucial components of the overall response to the issue of crumbling foundations,” Malloy said in a statement. “By expanding eligibility for testing reimbursement to homes outside of the original 20 mile radius, we will be able to get an improved understanding on the scope of the problem, and better serve residents affected by this natural disaster.”
Commissioner Evonne Klein, of the Department of Housing, said expanding eligibility for testing will “allow us to assist homeowners whose foundations are crumbling and may be due to the presence of pyrrhotite. In the months ahead, we expect to see additional progress in the formation of the Captive Insurance Company.”
The following criteria are required to be eligible for a reimbursement of foundation testing costs:
- The home must have been built during or after 1983.
- If the home was built before 1983, but there is an addition that was built after 1983, only the addition is eligible for testing reimbursement. The homeowner must supply proof that the addition was built after 1983 (such as a building permit, certificate of occupancy, or other similar documentation).
- The home is located within a 20 miles radius of the former J.J. Mottes Concrete Company in Stafford Springs—though the Commissioner of the Department of Housing may now grant a waiver for homes located outside this radius.
- Visual Inspection must be performed by a licensed professional engineer.
- Homeowners are eligible for a 50 percent reimbursement of their testing costs, up to $2,000 for petrographic analysis—core testing. Visual inspections will be reimbursed at 100 percent of value, up to $400.
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.