Colorado Springs landslide victims receive $5.9 million in federal relief

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- After two years, Colorado Springs landslide victims are getting some relief from the federal government.

The city was granted $5.9 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to acquire houses damaged by landslides caused by heavy rains in 2015.

Twenty-seven 7 homes were damaged in the Lower Skyway and Broadmoor Bluffs subdivisions in southwest Colorado Springs. Landslide damage is not covered by most home insurance policies.

Dennis Cripps and his wife built their home in the Broadmoor Bluffs neighborhood in 1998.

“It’s a lifetime investment,” Cripps said. “Our entire investment was wrapped up in that home.”

Cripps said he and his wife returned from vacation in 2015 to find broken pipes, sloped floors and a damaged roof.

The problems were more serious than the exteriors as the ground underneath was severely damaged. His home was deemed a total loss.

“First of all, you know the investment of a lifetime is now worthless because we knew we couldn’t fix the house,” he said.

“The whole investment of the home still has a mortgage on it, so wherever we moved we had to make another mortgage.”

For more than a year, Cripps has paid two mortgages, but finally received good news when the grant money was announced.

“I had hoped it would be a lot faster,” he said.

Homeowners said the grant money will cover only up to 75 percent of the total cost of buying and demolishing their old homes.

“It’s still not going to be a total recovery, but it’s a long straight from walking away from your lifetime investment,” Cripps said.

The city said it will continue to apply for other grants to make up for the remaining 25 percent.

How much each homeowner will receive from the grant will depend on the condition of the home.