I-Team: How legislation could ease the financial burden of a crumbling foundation

I-Team

MONSON, Mass. (WWLP)- It’s one of the worst things that could happen to homeowners, the discovery of a crumbling foundation.

“Our family never heard of it before, so when we saw the concrete we had no idea what was going on,” said Russell Dupere, a Longmeadow homeowner.

The mineral responsible for this, pyrrhotite, which causes concrete to slowly deteriorate, as it’s exposed to oyxgen and water. Since it’s not covered by insurance, the cost to repair the foundation can be life-altering.

“Unless we use all of our retirement funds we wouldn’t be able to afford this and get another mortgage, said Michelle Loglisci, a Monson homeowner. “Our quote was $260,000.”

Michelle is a member of the Massachusetts Residents Against Crumbling Foundations, the group that hosted the public hearing in Monson, to raise awareness of the issue. They are also petitioning to get a bill passed to alleviate the financial burden of a crumbling foundation.

There are so many examples of a crumbling foundation in our area, and it’s an issue that extends into central Massachusetts. The hope is that this legislation gets passed to reimburse these homeowners, and according to Rep. Ashe, there’s no better time.

“It’s like a cancer you don’t know you have it until the symptoms arise,” said State Rep. Brian Ashe. “If we have this money coming something like this would really have a major positive impact if we can help make their homes whole again without having to bankrupt them or spending all of our savings.”

Ashe said the bill would be similar to the one passed in Connecticut. Some of their lawmakers want to help Massachusetts, concerned that it’s a New England problem.

“Many of the things we’ve done in Connecticut, Massachusetts could simply do a carbon copy, said Connecticut State Rep. Tom Delnick, representing the 14th district. “If there is an opportunity to share with the folks of Massachusetts what we’ve done, then I think it’s great.”

A Connecticut quarry was to blame for the pyrrhotite that has crumbled many homes’ foundations, but Ashe said there is another one in Massachusetts that could have it too. Right now, there are no quarry testing standards in Massachusetts to trace this mineral, something the bill would change set out to change.

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