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Congressman Joe Courtney

Representing the 2nd District of Connecticut

Crumbling Foundations

Information for Homeowners With Crumbling Foundations
 


 

A Crisis Affecting More Than Three Dozen Towns Across North-Central Connecticut

In recent years, more and more homeowners in our region have discovered that their home foundations are crumbling due to the presence of a mineral called pyrrhotite in the stone aggregate originally used to mix the concrete. During this time, I have met with affected homeowners, participated in community forums, and discussed the matter with state and local officials from impacted regions. The high cost of repairs for homeowners, the prevalence of the problem in our region, and the  economic impacts require a comprehensive response. I have worked persistently towards such a collaborative approach and I will continue to organize state and local officials, federal agencies, private industry, and other stakeholders to address this crisis head-on.

At the federal level, I have identified programs and resources that could be applied to fixing crumbling foundations, and have consulted with agencies including the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, among others, to work towards finding an “all of the above” approach to handling this crisis.

Courtney speaks to a homeowners group about crumbling foundations in 2015
 

More on Crumbling Foundations

February 26, 2019 Press Release
“I am very pleased that the Education and Labor Committee today reported out a school infrastructure bill which includes a section I authored to help local municipalities with the cost of repairing or reconstructing school buildings that have been impacted by crumbling foundations due to the presence of pyrrhotite,” said Congressman Courtney.
February 14, 2019 Press Release
“Congress took another important step today to help folks affected by crumbling foundations and to acknowledge this crisis on the federal,” said Congressman Courtney. “Two provisions that Congressman John Larson and I authored on this issue were included in today’s Consolidated Appropriations Act, the final conference agreement to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year."
January 4, 2019 Press Release
“Last night, Congress took another small but important step towards helping those affected by this crisis,” said Congressman Courtney. “Specifically, two amendments that Congressman John Larson and I authored on this issue were included in the spending bill we passed to end the partial government shutdown. While these amendments alone will not solve the crumbling foundations crisis, the unanimous support our proposals received on the House floor in July - and their inclusion in this funding package in the opening hours of the new Congress – provides strong backing to our ongoing efforts to marshal resources on the federal level to help.
October 22, 2018 Press Release
“We want to get the word out that IRS will be holding a free webinar that tax preparers and homeowners can learn more about recent development on tax deductions for foundation repairs,” said Courtney and Larson. “Last week, we announced that the IRS has made it clear that homeowners can “carry forward” or “carry back” a net operating loss under the casualty loss deduction for crumbling foundations repairs. This clarification means that even if the net loss suffered by a homeowner exceeds their annual tax liability, they can carry forward the loss for up to 20 years and can carry back for two years. This development will provide significant help for middle-class homeowners, and we want to get the word out about how they can start using this deduction when they go to file next spring.”
October 16, 2018 Press Release
“Today, the federal government has once again said ‘yes’ to helping homeowners struggling with the cost and damage of crumbling foundations. This clarification of the tax revenue procedure that we announced last year is going to have significant implications for middle-class homeowners whose repair costs exceed their annual income,” said Courtney and Larson. “It also builds on the critical development we announced last year that the IRS would allow homeowners to claim a casualty loss on their 2017 return to recoup the costs of repairing a home foundation.
September 12, 2018 Press Release
“This clarification of the tax revenue procedure announced last year will have a major impact for homeowners whose repair costs exceed their annual income,” said Courtney and Larson. “We are grateful to have the support of the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants and their Executive Director, Bonnie Stewart, in this critical matter for homeowners in northcentral and northeastern Connecticut."
July 20, 2018 Press Release
"Homeowners in more than three dozen towns in north central and northeast Connecticut have reported that their home foundations are failing due to the mineral pyrrhotite that could affect up to 35,000 homes in the area. That is why it is critical to make sure that all municipal, state, federal and private sector measures are taken to address this catastrophe. This week was another small step to help our constituents as two amendments passed in the House of Representatives."
May 12, 2018 Press Release
“While Congressman Larson and I originally announced that the IRS was going to make this tax relief available late last year, many people are still just learning about the program and the fact that it will be available until 2021,” said Courtney. “Local residents should be aware that the additional three years afforded under this updated guidance we received in February will provide critical time for to make foundation repairs and secure federal tax relief. I would like to thank the Office of the Connecticut Taxpayer Advocate and Congressman John Larson for their participation today.
February 7, 2018 Press Release
“This is welcome news for homeowners in our districts,” the members said. “The additional three years afforded under this updated policy provides critical time for more homeowners impacted by crumbling foundations to make repairs and secure federal tax relief. Since enactment of the new tax law, we have been in regular contact with officials from the Treasury and IRS to explore ways to extend as much relief as possible to homeowners in spite of the changes made by the law. We are grateful for their attention to our concerns and the support they have provided today to homeowners struggling with the damage caused by crumbling foundations.”
January 10, 2018 Press Release
“As the IRS confirmed in its letter, qualified taxpayers who paid to repair damage to their homes in 2017 or in prior open tax years will still able to deduct the cost of those repairs as a casualty loss on their 2017 returns. This is welcome confirmation for those homeowners who have already completed repair work on their homes and will soon begin to prepare their taxes,” said Courtney and Larson.

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