An alarming number of residents in Eastern Connecticut have discovered that their home foundations are failing. A quarry in Willington, Connecticut was a longstanding source of aggregate used in concrete for building construction. The quarry contained a vein of the mineral pyrrhotite, which contaminated the aggregate, and so, the concrete. In time, the mineral reacts with water and air, causing the concrete to crumble and foundations to fail.
The quarry’s products were used in an estimated 20,000 residential construction projects over 30 years. In some towns, dwellings comprising 30% of its taxbase were built during the years of most concern, 1983-2013. And recently, some municipal buildings are found to be affected.
Repairs proved ineffective. Replacement of the foundation is costly but the only currently effective solution. The process involves detaching accessory structures and utilities, lifting the house structure, demolishing the defective foundation and pouring a replacement foundation.
Homeowner claims were denied by insurers. FEMA declined assistance.
Homeowners formed grassroots organizations to advocate for assistance and provide information (see Coalition links below). The State of Connecticut Insurance Department warned insurers not to cancel insurance based on such a claim. US Representatives Joe Courtney and John B. Larson, with the support of US Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, obtained income tax relief for homeowners which now may span several years, and have sought HUD funding. The Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) assists towns and homeowners with pertinent information and its site is frequently updated.
The Connecticut legislature passed a bill which the Governor signed implementing the collection of a $12 surcharge on every homeowner insurance policy to fund a captive insurance entity to distribute funds for relief, almost entirely for crumbling concrete foundation owners (CFSIC). The surcharge should raise about $9 million. The state is authorized to borrow about $100 million. Remediation costs are likely to exceed $1 billion (source: CT Mirror, Mark Pazniokas, 5/5/2018 link below).
The Connecticut Foundation Solutions Indemnity Company (CFSIC) is commencing operation. The Dept. of Housing has a Homeowner Advocate for Crumbling foundations, Lena Holleran.
Because this disaster, the scale of which remains unknown, affects residential properties, it is a residential appraisal issue. To provide information to appraisers, agents, and members of the public, I will add links to active groups and political representatives as well as news articles on this Renée Healion Appraisals website. The reader is cautioned that this is an unfolding issue and I am attempting to keep my links current. If there are any corrections or suggestions, please feel free to email me.
Renée Healion, SRA, ASA
2015 comprehensive TV news account:
2018 good explanation of problem, signs, and solution: https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/on-air/as-seen-on/Childree-Foundation-Explainer_Hartford-406623505.html
US Representatives pages:
Map of claims has expanded:
IRS Tax relief:
State of CT and Council of Governments:
New Guidelines Added for Relief Program Active on Jan 10, 2019
The homeowner coalition’s site and FB page below:
CT-DOH Homeowner Advocate below:
Canada & US could share solutions, part of a WTNH series:
Manchester has an extensive list of links:
Reports emerge of non-residential buildings with crumbling concrete in Tolland school and fire department:
Two insurers promise $10.5 million to affected insureds
Journal Inquirer: "Concrete Hurts Grand Lists", towns lose revenue
Journal Inquirer: Two bills to prevent deficiency judgments
Stafford, Ellington, Vernon awarded grant for testing concrete
"Crumbling Foundation Repairs To Halt Until State Pays Up" WSHU http://www.tinyurl.com/yyzeecg6
June 5, 2019
"The General Assembly has approved a comprehensive crumbling foundation bill that aims to protect unsuspecting buyers from purchasing affected homes, establishes a low-interest loan program for repairs, allows condominium owners to participate in the captive insurance company, and develops more cost-effective methods for repairs."
CFSIC Head resigns early, citing funding issues, offers comprehensive data from 1,000 claims, warns of more defective foundations to come
Concrete chief to stay on longer; progress on foundation replacements
"World's Lessons on Concrete" International advocates visit CT
Massachusetts: $350,000,000 needed in homeowner help
USGS publishes fact sheet and map showing US pyrrhotite distribution
Pyrrhotite occurs in rocks in many areas of the United States.
Links for download