February 08, 2019

Warren Joins Blumenthal, Murphy in Introducing Bills to Provide Relief to Homeowners and Businesses with Crumbling Foundations

Washington, DC - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today joined Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), along with Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), in introducing two bills—the Crumbling Foundations Small Business and Homeowners Assistance Act and the Aid to Homeowners with Crumbling Foundations Act—to provide meaningful relief for homeowners and businesses in Massachusetts and other states with crumbling foundations.

“Families and business owners in Western Massachusetts and beyond are facing enormous bills to fix crumbling home and building foundations," said Senator Warren. “My Senate colleagues and I are working to pass legislation that will help protect Massachusetts families and small businesses from these unforeseen costs.”
“These common sense steps will help alleviate the pain of homeowners and businesses across Connecticut repairing and rebuilding crumbling foundations—a continuing financial and emotional nightmare,” said Senator Blumenthal. “The federal government must step up and provide real relief from the unconscionable stress and expense made worse by the unacceptable inaction of many insurance companies. I will continue the fight to assist these homeowners and businesses in meeting this urgent challenge.”
“Helping families dealing with crumbling foundations continues to be critically important to me,” said Senator Murphy. “I’ve visited the homes of Connecticut families with crumbling foundations, and I’ve seen firsthand the stress and financial  burden this is causing them. While we’ve been successful in getting Congress to take some action, it’s not enough. I’m proud to partner with Senator Blumenthal in reintroducing these bills to provide federal assistance and some relief to these homeowners.”  
“Thousands of homeowners in Massachusetts and Connecticut are on the hook for costly foundation repairs that they never could have anticipated. The federal government must do what it can to provide assistance, including direct aid, to relive the unfair financial and emotional stresses the issue is causing in our communities,” said Senator Markey.
The Crumbling Foundations Small Business and Homeowners Assistance Act of 2019 would establish a grant program through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to award funding up to $20 million annually over a five year period -- $100 million over five years. Grants would be available to states to reimburse affected owners of small businesses, condominium associations, and homeowners for work to prevent, repair and mitigate damage caused by concrete foundations containing pyrrhotite.
The Aid to Homeowners with Crumbling Foundations Act would provide $100 million over five years from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to states like Massachusetts, where residents may have pyrrhotite damage. Massachusetts has a state program to allow affected residents to get reimbursed for testing and inspections.