Work begins on first publicly-funded crumbling foundation replacement

News 8 Investigators

Work is underway on the first home to use public funds to replace a crumbling foundation.

Kevin and Aisling McCloskey said they first found out they had severe pyrrhotite-related cracking in their concrete walls 18 months ago. At the time, they feared they would have to walk away from their Paula Joy Lane home in Tolland, but are grateful for the help arriving.

“We were so overwhelmed,” said Aisling McCloskey. “We didn’t think there would be any financial support.”

The McCloskeys were joined on Wednesday by Michael Maglaras, the superintendent of the Connecticut Foundations Solutions Indemnity Company. That is the captive insurance company created by the legislature in 2017 to pay out claims to the hundreds, likely thousands of homeowners with pyrrhotite-related cracking in their basement walls.

“This is a great day and we’re so happy to be here,” said Maglaras. “This is a village and it takes a village to raise a house.”

Also, there was Steven Werbner, the Tolland town manager. Tolland is one of the towns hit the hardest by this issue.

Related: State Insurance Department opens investigations after homeowner complaints

“We’re just so happy that we can help people get their lives back in order,” said Werbner. “It’s been a long time coming.”

The first group of homeowners to speak out about the severe cracking in their foundations came in the late 1990’s. It took until 2017 for the state to get involved when the legislature committed $20 million per year for five years to go towards fixing homes.

Since then, an additional $12 per year from homeowners premiums was added to the fund and there are more than 40 crumbling foundation-related bills currently being considered by the legislature.

Rep. Jeff Currey (D-East Hartford) is one of the leading proponents for a solution in the legislature. He thanked his colleagues from across the state for helping get the captive insurance company off the ground. He also thanked the affected homeowners.

“I think it’s important that we thank the homeowners for putting their trust and faith in us that we were going to do what’s right,” said Currey. “That’s exactly what we’ve proven to do.”

Maglaras said the work is just beginning and expects up to three dozen more homes to be raised in the next few weeks.

Web Extra: Work underway on first publicly-funded crumbling foundation replacement

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