U.S. Senate Passes Two Amendments With Hope To Help Homeowners With Failing Foundations

Last Wednesday, August 1st, the U.S. Senate passed two amendments that aid the issue of failing foundations in northern Connecticut.

The first amendment passed appoints the Government Accountability Office to assess the financial burden of the crumbling foundation crisis and outline a regulatory and legislative action to help the issue.

Officials have stated that a certain mineral, pyrrhotite, is the cause of the problem. Leading the second amendment to mandate the U.S. Geological Survey to create a map showing where the mineral is found across the country.

A state report shows that pyrrhotite used in the concrete aggregate for the foundations that have crumbled is partly to blame. The problem was detected in north-central Connecticut, Gov. Dannel Malloy estimates that as many as 34,000 homes in 36 towns could have failing foundations.

Insurance companies are known to deny crumbling foundation claims stating that the problem does not qualify under their definition of “collapse”. The cost of a crumbling foundation can cost a homeowner up to 200,00 in repairs.

The amendments were presented by Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal.

Sen Murphy stated, “These amendments are an important step in the right direction to solve this crisis. These programs will ensure future builders do not use concrete from quarries with pyrrhotite. There’s a lot more that needs to be done and I will continue to fight every day for federal assistance to solve this crisis.”

Sen Blumenthal stated, “These two amendments will help further our understanding of this devastating natural disaster — answering critical questions such as where else pyrrhotite has been found, the fiscal impact of the crisis and existing regulations and legislation that could be tapped to provide urgently needed direct aid to property owners. Local and state governments have stepped up, and I am pleased that Congress is beginning to do so as well.”

Resp. Joe Courtney and John Larson worked on the amendments and presented a similar legislation that passed the U.S. House of Representatives in July. Jointly they stated that they will continue to press for more support for the homeowners grappling with the issue in their district. “As we have said before, no single bill or action is going to be able to fix this problem and we remain committed to pressing forward with these proposals and others at every available opportunity” they said.

The two amendments are the latest in many federal solutions Connecticut’s congressional delegation has sought for victims.

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