NV Senator Aims to Help Owners of Sinking Homes in North Las Vegas
Monday, May 1, 2023
A Nevada senator is trying to help relocate residents of Windsor Park in North Las Vegas for a unique reason - their homes are sinking.
State Sen. Dina Neal - D-Las Vegas - is one of the sponsors behind Senate Bill 450, which now heads to the Senate floor.
Many homes in the historically Black neighborhood have been seriously damaged by the sinking ground, as the community was built over geological faults.
Neal said these residents deserve restitution, and hopes to be able to move the last 90 families out of the area.
Neal said some original owners - there since the 1960s and '70s, and others, who bought as recently as 2019 - were not aware of the area's history.
"From our documentation, we find that there are 38 existing mortgages, that exist from the accessor records," said Neal. "And it's deeply concerning, because no one has intervened to stop it."
Neal said the bill proposes an exchange - everyone must be relocated to new homes that are equivalent to what they currently have.
It would allow those with mortgages to be assisted by the Housing Division to pay off their remaining debt through financing. To fund the bill, the state would put forth $10 million, and the city $20 million.
When homes started to sink in the 1980s, Sen. Neal said the city got federal dollars to assist Windsor Park families - and there was also a 1998 general obligation bond that North Las Vegas created to help them relocate.
But she said her scrutiny of city budgets found no proof of how the money was spent.
North Las Vegas Finance Director Will Harty said the budgets don't reflect "actual expenditures," adding that the city has helped some families.
"The city continues to budget expenses in these funds every year, so that we have the budget capacity in case there are residents that decide to participate in the program," said Harty. "However, it is a voluntary program, and there has not been a lot of participation recently. "
Supporters of Senate Bill 450 believe state involvement is key, since the city won't allow the houses currently in Windsor Park to be rebuilt or improved - leaving residents little choice but to relocate.
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