Gov. Malloy allocates $5 million for foundation testing of Connecticut homes

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy (D) delivers his 2017 State of the State address at the State Capitol (WTNH / Keith Porter)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced his intention to allocate $5 million in state funding to be placed on an agenda of an upcoming meeting of the State Bond Commission on Monday. This is part of the state’s continued efforts to assist homeowners in northeastern Connecticut, who are facing concerns due to the possibility of the existence of a mineral that could cause the homeowners’ foundations to deteriorate.

The funding will be used to provide testing, including visual inspections of foundations, to better understand the extent of the problem while also assisting property owners with the costs related to testing. Gov. Malloy knows how important it is that multiple governments work together to help the people who are affected by the problem.

“It is vital that local, state, and federal government – along with private sector partners – work together to both understand the scope of this problem, and to help those whose homes are affected,”

Providing financial assistance for the testing of foundations in these communities is a logical first step. It will help us better inform our federal partners about the scope of this situation and garner their support for additional aide. Today’s announcement does not represent the totality of the state’s assistance for affected homeowners – we will remain at the table with homeowners and other partners as work continues.” Gov. Malloy said

A number of homes in the region have suffered damages due to what appears to be the result of a natural disaster. Pyrrhotite is a naturally occurring iron sulfide mineral. When it is exposed to oxygen and water, it  leads to a chemical reaction that aids in the deterioration of home foundations.

The presence of pyrrhotite signifies the potential for concrete deterioration, but its existence alone does not necessarily cause it. For homes with existing deterioration, the existence of pyrrhotite can sometimes be determined by visual inspection because this kind of deterioration forms a unique cracking pattern.

“This funding provides direct support to homeowners to help them – and us – get answers about these foundations failures,” Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said. “Even as we seek resources for those homeowners whose homes are impacted by the pyrrhotite-caused condition, we are still trying to get a handle on the number of homes that could need remediation. This is a difficult time for the region and the families whose most valuable asset is at risk. We are committed to doing everything we can to help.”

Under the program Gov. Malloy announced today, homeowners will be eligible for a 50 percent reimbursement – up to $2,000 – for the testing of two core samples within their home. Homeowners who have visual testing conducted by a licensed professional engineer will be eligible for a 100 percent reimbursement – up to $400. The program will provide testing for applicants with homes built since 1983 and are within a 20-mile radius of the J.J. Mottes Concrete Company in Stafford Springs.

Gov. Malloy is also coordinating with the Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) to administer this funding and provide reimbursement to homeowners who have their foundations tested. CRCOG will provide quarterly reports on testing results to the Department of Consumer Protection and the Attorney General’s Office. Additional information for homeowners interested in the program will be announced in the coming weeks.

Additionally, the Connecticut Department of Housing (DOH) is planning to allocate $1 million in federal block grant funding as well in the testing process. DOH will make its funding available later in the year, and while the program will be open to all applicants, it will prioritize assistance for low and moderate-income homeowners who are affected by this problem.

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