February 18, 2022

Neguse, Bennet, Hickenlooper Urge FEMA to Cover Costs of Removing Home Foundations Damaged by the Marshall Fire

Washington D.C.— Today, Congressman Joe Neguse, Senator Michael Bennet and Senator John Hickenlooper wrote to FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell requesting that the costs of removing damaged home foundations be covered by FEMA through the Private Property Debris Removal (PPDR) program. Eligible under the Public Assistance program for this disaster, the PPDR was recently approved for victims of the Marshall Fire.  

The destructive nature of the Marshall Fire rendered thousands of structures throughout Louisville, Superior, and Boulder County unserviceable. The foundations left behind are now posing a health and safety threat to the communities and blocking rebuilding efforts. If included in the PPDR, the county would be reimbursed for the costs of removing the damaged home foundations. 

“The removal of these fire-damaged foundations is a significant cost to homeowners, in a community where many homeowners are already finding themselves to be underinsured and with insufficient resources,” wrote Congressman Neguse and the lawmakers, “As the State, County, and the community work to recover and rebuild after this disaster, approving the request to include the costs of removing home foundations in PPDR reimbursement is an important step to ensuring that homeowners and the community can quickly continue the rebuilding process.” 

Congressman Neguse has been instrumental in ensuring proper cost coverage in the aftermath of the Marshall Fire, his previous letter to FEMA alongside U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper led to the initial approval of the state’s PPDR request. He also worked with Colorado Governor Jared Polis and President Joe Biden to ensure an expedited Major Disaster Declaration was issued and that Individual Assistance would be approved to provide financial assistance to all uninsured or underinsured households.

Read the full letter here and below:  

February 18, 2022 

The Honorable Deanne Criswell Administrator
Federal Emergency Management Agency
500 C Street S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20472

Dear Administrator Criswell,

Thank you for supporting the State of Colorado’s (the State) requests in the wake of the Marshall Fire, including your recent approval of the request for Private Property Debris Removal (PPDR) to be eligible under the Public Assistance program for this disaster. We write to request expeditious approval of the State’s request to include the costs of removing damaged home foundations in PPDR, and urge you to include this coverage upon receipt of the supplemental materials from the State and Boulder County (the County). 

The heat and intensity of the Marshall Fire damaged the concrete foundations of many homes and businesses so severely that they are now considered unusable. State and local officials determined that the debris from these homes pose a threat to public health and safety and to the economic recovery of the community. 

The removal of these fire-damaged foundations is a significant cost to homeowners, in a community where many homeowners are already finding themselves to be underinsured and with insufficient resources. As you know the Marshall Fire destroyed 1,084 homes outright, and damaged or destroyed dozens of other homes, businesses, and public facilities. As the State, County, and the community work to recover and rebuild after this disaster, approving the request to include the costs of removing home foundations in PPDR reimbursement is an important step to ensuring that homeowners and the community can quickly continue the rebuilding process. 

We urge you to quickly approve the State’s request to include the removal of home foundations and support the community in their economic recovery. Thank you for your attention to this important matter. 

Sincerely,