Montreal

Quebec pledges $17M more for pyrrhotite-damaged homes

Pyrrhotite has wreaked havoc on the foundations of thousands of homes in the Mauricie and Central Quebec regions built between 1996 and 2008 with aggregate from a local quarry.

Government also lowers amount of problematic mineral in foundation concrete required to access funds

This house is one of hundreds that have undergone repairs to fix damage caused by pyrrhotite.

Quebec is allocating $17 million more for homeowners in the Mauricie and Central Quebec regions affected by pyrrhotite.

The Liberal government announced the new funds Friday at a news conference in Trois-Rivières, 140 kilometres northeast of Montreal.

Pyrrhotite is a mineral that expands when exposed to humidity and oxygen. Its presence in aggregate can lead to cracks in concrete structures.

That problem has wreaked havoc on the foundations of thousands of homes and commercial buildings in the Mauricie and Central Quebec regions built between 1996 and 2008 with aggregate from a local quarry.

Lower threshold

In addition to the new funds, the government also announced Friday that it was lowering the volume of pyrrhotite in concrete that's required to access the funds from 0.3 to 0.23 per cent.

The lower threshold and extra funds will help an estimated 400 homeowners and brings Quebec's total assistance for homeowners coping with pyrrhotite damage to $52 million.

Homeowner Marc Dubord welcomed the decision to lower the pyrrhotite threshold. The concrete in his foundation has a volume of .25 per cent and now qualifies for funding.

"It's a relief for me and other victims in the region," he said.

Dubord estimates the cost of repairing his foundation will be around $125,000.

The 2016 federal budget pledged $30 million over three years to help homeowners in Trois-Rivières and other municipalities with pyrrhotite-related repairs.

with files from Radio-Canada's Marilyn Marceau

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