Benson Tower residents reveal concerns about building issues

Anthony and a few neighbors invited 6 News inside with a laundry list of concerns
Several residents from Benson Towers turned to 6 News after their complaints about conditions resulted in no results for what they call code violations.
Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 5:34 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Several residents from Benson Tower turned to 6 News after their complaints about conditions resulted in no results for what they call code violations.

“Wow, my whole floor is done for,” said Anthony.

Anthony, a Benson Tower resident, in February used a shirt to sop up toilet water from his floor after one of several failed repairs. Today he is at his wits’ end.

“It’s just disgusting and I did not sign up for this at all,” he said.

Anthony and a few neighbors invited 6 News inside with a laundry list of concerns.

Everything from apparent moldy walls to bites he says were from bed bugs and spiders and even evidence of some other unwanted guests.

“Fleas [shakes Raid container] these bottles are gone, we need new ones,” said Anthony.

The Omaha Housing Authority director says not only do they respond to direct pest concerns from tenants but they offer “regular preventative treatment” monthly.

You ask the residents about that though and they’d call it lip service, complaining of lazy property management and a stack of backlogged work orders.

“Maintenance doesn’t even do nothing. They just come clock in, sit back in the office all day,” said an Army vet.

OHA disputes that saying their tally of repairs for the 143-unit building as of Friday was fewer than 20, including general upkeep.

“It’s just one complaint after another,” said Anthony.

We saw broken air conditioning units, floor panels that appear to be decaying, light figures obstructed by vermin, and boarded-up windows or no windows at all. Even with that, we’re told Benson Towers has not failed any of its annual inspections.

“I have a runny nose. I sneeze when I wake up,” said the Army vet.

An army veteran living here because of tough circumstances says it is certainly no way to live.

“I don’t feel safe and there’s sometimes believe it or not I have to come down with a knife,” said the vet.

OHA responded immediately to our requests for information about those residents’ claims.

They tell 6 News renovations are underway to modernize plumbing, electrical, and flooring at Benson Tower.

The authority gets grants to fund capital improvements some of which have already been completed.

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