Gov. Malloy Announces State Funding to Conduct Foundation Testing For Homes in Northeastern Connecticut
$5 Million in State Funding Will Help Homeowners Test for Pyrrhotite in Concrete
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that he intends to allocate $5 million in state funding to be placed on an agenda of an upcoming meeting of the State Bond Commission as part of the state’s ongoing efforts to assist homeowners in northeastern Connecticut facing concerns due to the possible existence of a mineral that could cause the foundations of their homes to deteriorate. The funding will be used to provide testing and including visual inspections of foundations in order to better understand the extent of the problem while also assisting property owners with the costs related to testing.
The Connecticut Department of Housing (DOH) is also planning to allocate an additional $1 million in federal block grant funding to further assist low and moderate-income homeowners and help offset these testing costs.
“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,” Governor Malloy said. “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.”
“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.”
A number of homes in the region have suffered damages due to what appears to be the result of a natural disaster – specifically the reaction of a naturally occurring mineral, pyrrhotite, to oxygen and water. Pyrrhotite is an iron sulfide mineral, and its exposure to oxygen and water leads to a chemical reaction that results in deterioration of home foundations. The presence of pyrrhotite indicates the potential for concrete deterioration, but its existence alone does not necessarily cause it. For homes with existing deterioration, the existence of pyrrhotite can – in some circumstances – be determined by visual inspection alone, chiefly because this kind of deterioration forms a unique cracking pattern.
Under the program the Governor 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 that are within a 20-mile radius of the J.J. Mottes Concrete Company in Stafford Springs.
Governor Malloy is 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.
“CRCOG is very encouraged that new resources for concrete testing will be available to homeowners who are struggling with this issue,” Lyle Wray, Executive Director of CRCOG, said.
Earlier today, DOH held a public forum in Hartford for chief elected and local officials to explain how the federal block grants will be used in the testing process. DOH will make its funding available later in the year and, while the program will be open to all applicants, will prioritize assistance for low and moderate-income homeowners who are affected by this problem.