Federal Relief Sought for Crumbling Foundations

Land problems cause a foundation to partially separate from a home and create a crack from base to roof and a smaller crack

February 11, 2019

Land problems cause a foundation to partially separate from a home and create a crack from base to roof and a smaller crack

As reported here previously, the Connecticut-domiciled nonprofit captive insurance company Connecticut Foundation Solutions Indemnity Company, LLC, commenced operations in January and will administer $100 million in state funding over 5 years to help Connecticut homeowners with crumbling foundations.

On the national stage, US Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) recently introduced two bills—the Crumbling Foundations Small Business and Homeowners Assistance Act and the Aid to Homeowners with Crumbling Foundations Act—that would provide relief for homeowners and businesses in Connecticut with crumbling foundations.

The Crumbling Foundations Small Business and Homeowners Assistance Act of 2019 would establish a grant program through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to award funding up to $20 million annually over a 5-year period—$100 million over 5 years. Grants would be available to states to reimburse affected owners of small businesses, condominium associations, and homeowners for work to prevent, repair, and mitigate damage caused by concrete foundations containing pyrrhotite.

The Aid to Homeowners with Crumbling Foundations Act would provide $100 million over 5 years from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to states like Connecticut that have created nonprofit crumbling foundations assistance funds to repair damage to residential structures due to pyrrhotite.

The Internal Revenue Service announced in February 2018 it would allow Connecticut homeowners with crumbling foundations to take advantage of a federal tax deduction that provides relief on qualified home repairs through December 2020.

Further, Senators Blumenthal and Murphy have also sought legislation to require the National Institute of Standards and Technology to establish regulations for acceptable levels of pyrrhotite and to assist homeowners in detecting, preventing and mitigating damage from the mineral.

In August 2018, the US Senate passed two amendments to provide assistance to homeowners in Connecticut hurt by crumbling foundations due to pyrrhotite.  The amendments will accomplish the following.

  • Direct the Government Accountability Office to assess the financial impact of the crumbling foundations and outline regulatory and legislative actions to help mitigate that impact.
  • Direct the US Geological Survey to create a nationwide map showing where pyrrhotite can be found.

February 11, 2019