Ben Carson's Visit And Crumbling Foundations: Everything You Need To Know

Ben Carson's Visit And Crumbling Foundations: Everything You Need To Know

Hartford Courant, June 4, 2018

By Kathleen McWilliams

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson visited a Willington home today with a failing foundation after Sen. Chris Murphy invited him to look at the issue firsthand.

Carson’s visit to Vincent and Maggie Perracchio’s home comes after years of lobbying by state officials, homeowners and federal representatives for government intervention in what many have called a natural disaster.

At a Senate subcommittee meeting last month, Murphy invited Carson, a member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet, to come to Connecticut to see the problem firsthand.

“That problem was actually recently brought to my attention by the staff who’ve already started focusing attention on that,” Carson told Murphy. “It’s a very valid issue and yes, we would be happy to work with you on that.”

Here’s what you need to know about his visit:

He’s taking a look at a house in Willington with a crumbling foundation. The house is one of potentially 34,000 homes in 36 towns that might suffer from the issue.

According to a state report, a mineral known as pyrrhotite — used in the concrete aggregate for the foundations that are now crumbling — is partly to blame.

Insurance companies have denied homeowners' claims, saying the problem does not qualify for coverage under their definition of collapse. Homeowners have been left to bear the burden of a repair, which can cost as much as $200,000.

Homeowners, as well as state and federal legislators have been searching for solutions to the problem for years.

So what can Carson do about it? back to top

As the secretary of housing and urban development, Carson is a member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet and is uniquely poised to help the problem.

In April, Murphy and Sen. Richard Blumenthal introduced legislation that would provide $200 million in funds for homeowners to make the necessary repairs to their foundations. Half of that money would come from the department of Housing and Urban Development, which Carson is in charge of.

Is Carson the homeowners only hope? No. Homeowners have lobbied for financial assistance at the state level and been moderately successful in getting several measures passed.

This year, the state also passed a law that adds a $12 surcharge to insurance policies that will go into a fund to help affected homeowners.

Also this year, the IRS announced that homeowners with failing concrete foundations have until 2021 to deduct any repairs done to their foundations from their federal taxes.

Homeowners have also gotten assistance with foundation testing costs from the state department of housi