Last February, Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle created the Landlord Task Force, which handed in its report on Thursday. It comes with 59 recommendations to keep properties safe and crime-free and ideas on how to deal with landlords who have code violations piling up.
Burned out homes just left to rot is just one problem the task force is dealing with. It hopes the new ideas will help eliminate eyesores in neighborhoods across Omaha.
The mayor's Landlord Task Force has a number of new ideas. It wants to work with landlords to solve problems and upgrade a number of city ordinances to make neighborhoods safe from criminal activity that comes from renting to bad people who leave properties vacant and uncared for.
“Burned out property and escrowing some of that insurance money so that those building can be torn down when they catch fire and not have to put it on the taxpayers’ dime,” said Omaha City Councilman Ben Gray, also a member of the task force.
“By targeting problem properties in the city, we can work with landlords to comply with building codes,” added Mayor Suttle.
“Enough talk. We're done with the talk. It's not fair.” Vickie Claxton and Rosetta Johnson have heard it all before. A run-down house in their neighborhood has been a breeding ground for crime for a long time, so long, that the danger sign has turned from yellow to white.
“The drug addicts came in there, they ripped everything off, took all the copper, they were living in it, they were drug selling in it,” said Claxton.
“My grandkids, I don't even want them out here in the alley ‘cause it’s so bad,” said Johnson.
The Landlord Task Force hopes to start upgrading ordinances to deal with problem properties in a few weeks, but for people who have to live around the eyesores, it’s not soon enough.