WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced a series of amendments Tuesday to provide assistance to homeowners in Connecticut hurt by crumbling foundations. The senators introduced the amendments to the FY2019 Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies and Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bills. These amendments shine a light on the burdens faced by Connecticut homeowners due to pyrrhotite.
“The faulty foundations through central and eastern Connecticut continue to be a nightmare for families,” Murphy said. “Thousands of homeowners are trapped in dangerous homes through no fault of their own, and insurers have so far refused to do their part. Senator Blumenthal and I are fighting to pass federal funds to address this crisis.”
“These amendments would provide long-overdue, direct federal aid and support to homeowners suffering extreme financial and emotional distress caused by crumbling foundations. I have seen firsthand the destruction and heartache caused by these crumbling foundations—a natural disaster that has been compounded by the utter failure of the federal government to respond. Local and state governments have stepped up, and now the federal government must follow suit. I will continue to fight for all avenues of assistance to make these homeowners and small businesses whole,” Blumenthal said.
Specifically, Murphy and Blumenthal introduced three amendments that would:
- Provide $100 million over five years from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to states like Connecticut that have created non-profit crumbling foundation assistance funds to repair damage to residential structures due to pyrrhotite. This amendment is based on the Aid to Homeowners with Crumbling Foundations Act introduced by Murphy and Blumenthal.
- Directs the U.S. Treasury Secretary to assess the financial impact of the crumbling foundations and outline regulatory and legislative actions to help mitigate that impact. This amendment mirrors one led by Reps. Joe Courtney (CT-2) and John Larson (CT-1) that passed the U.S. House of Representatives.
- Direct the U.S. Geological Survey to create a nationwide map showing where pyrrhotite can be found. This amendment is similar to one led by Courtney and Larson that passed the U.S. House of Representatives.
In May, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson visited eastern Connecticut to tour an affected home and meet with affected homeowners following an invitation from Murphy.