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CT helps make dent in expenses for residents with crumbling home foundations

Coventry resident Kristen Kane at her home that was impacted by the crumbling foundation issue. This program is for gap funding, paying for expenses related to the foundation repair not the repair itself.
Abigail Brone
/
Connecticut Public
Coventry resident Kristen Kane at her home that was impacted by the crumbling foundation issue. This program is for gap funding, paying for expenses related to the foundation repair not the repair itself.

A new statewide program, funded with a $2 million federal appropriation secured by Congressman Joe Courtney, is providing financial assistance for Connecticut residents struggling to afford crumbling home foundation repairs.

Coventry resident Kristen Kane and her family of four first noticed five years ago the foundation of their home was cracking.

The foundation replacement costs were covered by Connecticut Foundations Solutions Indemnity Company, Connecticut’s repair program developed five years ago.

However, the program only pays for costs associated with replacing a crumbling foundation. It does not help residents pay for repairs caused by the damage.

Kane had to pay out of pocket for extra expenses associated with the repairs.

She and her wife spent more than $20,000 on additional costs.

“It’s the yard, it’s the walkway, it’s the driveway repairs, it’s your living expenses. It’s just everything that the program doesn’t cover,” Kane said. “While the program covers an enormous amount, you have to take out a loan to get through these expenses and that’s what we did.”

The Kanes were also forced to move out of their home last fall for two months.

The gap funding program won’t retroactively help them, but they’re hopeful it’ll make a difference for other families.

Residents are sometimes forced to forgo the necessary repairs because they can’t afford the related expenses, Michael Maglaras, superintendent of the foundation repair program, said.

Under the new federally funded program, low- and moderate-income families can apply for up to $32,000 to help pay for unexpected expenses associated with their foundation repairs.

“I'm predicting that the average gap between what we'll pay for and what it will take to get a foundation done for some of these low and moderate income people is around $12,000 bucks, you take $12,000 and divide it into $2 million,” Maglaras said.

The gap funding program will be run through the Capitol Region Council of Governments.

While applicants of all income levels are welcome, a focus will be placed on residents earning at or below 80% of the area’s median income (AMI).

“To put that in dollars and cents for a single person that's $66,150 annual income, would anyone at that level or below would be eligible,” Congressman Joe Courtney said.

About 4,000 homes statewide are impacted by crumbling foundations due to crushed rock containing the mineral pyrrhotite stone from a Willington quarry, beginning in the early 1980s.

Most of the impacted homes are located in the northeast portion of the state.

Abigail is Connecticut Public's housing reporter, covering statewide housing developments and issues, with an emphasis on Fairfield County communities. She received her master's from Columbia University in 2020 and graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2019. Abigail previously covered statewide transportation and the city of Norwalk for Hearst Connecticut Media. She loves all things Disney and cats.

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