The city of Omaha is looking at creating a landlord registry after city inspectors shut down the Yale Park Apartment complex in the northeast part of the city two weeks ago. Mayor Jean Stothert supports the concept but says it is a huge undertaking.
Mayor Stothert says, “What city wouldn’t like to guarantee all the tenants that the rental properties meet all codes. However, the practicality of it is the issue. La Vista has some sort of ordinance and they have about 2,500 rental properties. In Omaha we have over 75,000 rental properties.”
Stothert says they have looked ordinances set up in larger cities. She says Minneapolis has a department of 50 inspectors along with an $8 million budget. Omaha has ten inspectors and there is no way that number can be increased with the current budget.
Stothert says the role of the government is public health and safety of residents and agrees there are many other housing units in the city with similar problems. At this point she has not yet asked the Planning Department to move ahead with an ordinance. She is also meeting with members of the City Council today to discuss the issue.
About 500 residents were displaced when Yale Park closed. Inspectors found gas, carbon monoxide and water leaks throughout the 13 building complex. They also found rodents, bugs, falling ceilings and holes in the roof.