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Federal grant could help northeastern CT residents with crumbling foundations

U.S. Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT-02).
Brian Scott-Smith
U.S. Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT-02).

Homeowners in northeast Connecticut with a crumbling concrete foundation may qualify for additional money to pay for property repairs.

GAP Foundation Financing Program, with $2 million in federal funding, has been launched for families with low to middle incomes. It will provide up to $32,000 for expenses not covered by the state's insurer, which only finances foundation replacement.

U.S. Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT-02) is promoting the program.

“When homes are being fixed, it’s not just a question of the foundations being replaced, but it's frankly all the pertinent fixtures and landscaping and driveways and steps, porches etc.,” Courtney said. “Living expenses while the process is going on that homeowners also incur. Again, the state, despite its valiant efforts to provide a solution here, does not cover that part of the process.”

Kristen Kane’s home in Coventry has a crumbling foundation.

“All said and done, you know, as a homeowner our out-of-pocket expenses were well over $20,000,” Kane said. “It’s the yard, it’s the walkway, it’s the driveway repairs, it’s your living expenses. It’s just everything that that the program doesn’t cover. While the program covers an enormous amoun,t you’d have to take out a loan to get through these expenses and that’s what we did.”

Many of the properties are located in northeastern Connecticut, which had concrete supplied by the former JJ Mottes Concrete company between 1982 to 2015. The concrete was contaminated with Pyrrhotite, a mineral that causes concrete to deteriorate.

The average foundation replacement cost is around $150,000.

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.