Homeowners urging action from lawmakers on ‘crumbling foundations’ crisis

HARTFORD -- Town officials and homeowners from northeastern Connecticut communities affected by failing foundations are urging state lawmakers to provide help now, saying there's no more time for studies of the problem.

Tolland Town Manager Steve Werbner says the state needs to 'start to address homes in need now' to prevent further shrinkage of affected municipalities' tax rolls and a build-up of unusable homes.

"This does not just affect this area this will affect the entire state," said Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman. "When the economy goes down and people walk away from their homes this is devastating for the rest of the state."

Werbner says homeowners also need immediate assistance. Many can't afford to fix their homes, facing costs of up to $150,000 with little-to-no insurance coverage.

Four legislative committees held a joint hearing Tuesday on six bills aimed at addressing the problem, traced to a quarry that produced a concrete mix with a mineral, pyrrhotite, that reacted with oxygen and water.

Five hundred affected homeowners have filed complaints with state officials, but lawmakers fear the number of affected could total more than 5,000.

The estimated total cost for repairing the affected homes could cost around one billion dollars.