Press Releases

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

Feb 18, 2022

Washington D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet and Representative Joe Neguse 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 Hickenlooper, Bennet, and Neguse. “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.” 

The Marshall Fire, now Colorado’s most destructive fire in history, destroyed more than 1,000 homes and businesses on December 30, 2021. At Hickenlooper and Bennet’s request, President Biden quickly approved a Major Disaster Declaration to expedite federal assistance with housing and other immediate needs. On January 7, 2022, Hickenlooper and his colleagues joined President Biden to tour the fire damage

Hickenlooper, Bennet, and Neguse also secured a passport fee waiver for replacement passports damaged in the fire and urged the Biden Administration to grant Colorado’s forthcoming Private Property Debris Removal (PPDR) requests in the wake of the Marshall Fire. Hickenlooper, Bennet, and Neguse continue to work with the Biden Administration to ensure Colorado communities have the resources they need to recover and move forward. Marshall Fire survivors who need help replacing government documents such as passports, vaccine cards, or social security cards can reach out to Hickenlooper’s office at casework@hickenlooper.senate.gov or 303-244-1628. 

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,

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