SB 117 looks to provide relief for Hideaway Hills homeowners devastated by mine collapse

BLACK HAWK, S.D. — Over the weekend, the Prairie Hills Audubon Society held a foothills crackerbarrel.

Following massive damages to homes in the Hideaway Hills subdivision of Black Hawk, homeowners have been left to figure out how to move forward. This has left some families in financial turmoil, as they were force to uproot their lives.

In response, State Senator David Johnson proposed Senate Bill 117 as a relief. The bill would provide for the refinancing of certain mortgages on properties affected by disasters, whether natural or manmade.

“Some of those homeowners are still paying off mortgages on a home that has been evacuated, and that will never ever be inhabitable again. And yet, they’re still making payments on those homes to protect their equity that they have in them. All in the meantime they’re either paying rent, or purchased another home. So they’re making two mortgages on property that has absolutely no value whatsoever,’ Sen. Johnson said.

The property is uninhabitable and unsafe to both homeowners and crews hoping to clean up the area.

“It’s scary to think about taking equipment out on top of that mine roof to destroy the property that’s there, to demolish it, because nobody knows when another section of the mine will collapse,” Johnson said.

Bill 117 was proposed last week and supported by several families affected by the disaster, but the bill would not be a handout.

“Interestingly, they showed up, they’re not asking for a handout, they’re not asking for tax payer dollars to bail them out of a really bad situation. What they’re doing, is they’re asking for a hand up. They’re asking for the state legislature to allow them to apply, to get a loan, a zero interest or a low interest loan,” Johnson added.

The bill was passed with a vote of four to three, and will be going to the Senate floor this upcoming week.

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