Last month, the Mayor's Landlord Task Force released a report with a plan containing several dozen recommendations aimed at targeting landlords with code violations that continue to pile up.
Some who live near eyesore houses said the task force is a step in the right direction but argued for quicker action to tear down the houses. A landlord association said the plan is too intrusive.
Abandoned and vacant houses are old and troubling sights for JoAnn Henry.
It's also frustration for Ricardo Houston who has been trying to get the house demolished for years. “The landlord went to jail for what they called (being) a slumlord,” Houston said.
Houston also said it's getting dangerous in and around the house because he’s forced to watch people come in and out at night. "We've been getting the city, telling them about it, calling them they tell us there is nothing they can do because they can't do anything to the landlord, can't get in touch with the landlord,” Houston said.
Part of Mayor Jim Suttle's Landlord Task Force recommendations including making it easier for the city to seize the property, not just warn about weeds growing too tall.
John Chatelain, President of the Omaha Area Property Owners Association said not only was his office left out of the discussion surrounding the task force but Chatelain said it unfairly targeted landlords in general, not just a small number of "really bad ones."
“If you examine the suggestions in the task force in the report, it's targeting all property owners of investment property,” Chatelain said.
In the meantime, neighbors near 37th and Ames wanted something to be done to the house, before it will be too late. “It's a step in the right direction, but why even come out and clean the yard, just tear the whole house down,” a neighbor said.
Chatelain said his association will meet October 8th to discuss how the task force will affect the 500 member group and the overall business of owning properties.