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Dordrechtís home owners victim of dropping groundwater levels

Huge damage from foundation rot


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

DORDRECHT - Housing Minister Dekker refuses to get involved in the lingering controversy over deterio-rating foundations of homes throughout the city of Dor-drecht. Home owners have appealed to Parliament and asked the government as well as their municipality to accept responsibility for the disaster.

Because of a drop in the levels of the ground water in the city (because of a shifting and sinking sewer system which began draining ground water through its leaks), pile foundations now are exposed to rot. This has resulted in sagging buildings, and cracked walls. A group of home owners estimates that repair cost averages around $90,000 per building for a total of $125 million citywide.

According to the group, the municipality has been aware of the problem since before 1970, but kept results of monitoring studies from the public. People buying houses thus were unaware of the foundation problems and now are faced with huge repair bills which can not be claimed from the seller.

Last year, another group of home owners lost its court case against the municipality, which was held not responsible for the problems. The city did lower property assessments for most of the sagging homes however.