Bolton Democrats

Bolton Joins Crumbling Foundations Grant Application

Bolton has joined Coventry and five other towns to apply for a $250,000 Small Cities Community Block Grant to help home owners test for crumbling home foundations. Bolton’s Board of Selectmen (BOS) approved the move at its October 10 meeting.

On October 16, BOS member and First Selectman candidate Sandra Pierog attended a public hearing on the grant application in Coventry. The hearing was well attended, and all present supported the application. Coventry’s town manager was authorized to apply for the grant on behalf of Ashford, Bolton, Columbia, Coventry, Tolland, Union, and Willington.

Pyrrhotite, the mineral that’s at the heart of the failing concrete foundations. (Source: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikipedia)

To qualify for grant money, a house must have had a foundation poured after 1983 and be owner-occupied. Leased or rented properties may qualify if tenants meet income guidelines.

Preference will be given to low- and moderate-income families (defined as those with income below 80% of the median income for the area, as determined by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development; see HUD 80% median Income limits for 2017).

How to Apply

Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-awarded basis until funding is used up. Home owners should apply by mail or in person at

Small Cities Program Office (Town Manager’s office)
attn.: Crumbling Foundation Testing
1712 Main St.
Coventry, CT 06238

However, no applications will be accepted until the grant has been awarded.

In the interim, home owners can begin to assemble documents they’ll need when they apply. These include:

  1. A copy of the last filed income tax return (or the last three returns if self-employed). In addition, the homeowner must provide documentation of all sources of income for all members of the household, including Social Security and pension statements, last four pay stubs, four most recent bank statements, unemployment statements, documentation of child support or alimony, etc.
  2. Social Security Numbers for all occupants of the house.
  3. Copy of home owners’ insurance policy showing dates of coverage.
  4. Copy of the deed to the property.
  5. Documentation showing that any real estate taxes, personal property taxes, sewer fees, and motor vehicle taxes are not delinquent.

Additional requirements apply to investor-owned properties. Full guidelines for the program are available here.

Coventry will identify the testing contractor and coordinate the testing. Successful applicants will be eligible for up to four core testing samples. Once applicants are approved, they will receive additional information directly from the Town of Coventry.

Hope for the Future

Identifying the problem is just the start. The next step is applying a solution. Selectman Pierog noted that one potential solution—a new technology that uses a space-age polymer—was also discussed at the October 16 hearing. This new building technology will be tested in the next month or so in a home in Union.

The potential solution, which exceeds all current Connecticut building requirements, costs less than half of a traditional foundation. It requires no forms or cure time, and work can be completed in a few days.

“This is exciting news for affected homeowners,” Selectman Pierog said. “As soon as I have more details, you’ll have them too.”

Additional Resources

Connecticut Coalition against Crumbling Basements
Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection info page
Connecticut Regional Council of Governments Crumbling Foundations overview
Hartford Courant four-part series: 1, 2, 3, 4
NBC Connecticut news coverage
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers briefing