Controversial landlord seeks TIF designation

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Some Omaha housing groups are concerned the city is on the cusp of rewarding bad landlord behavior.

The city council will meet on Tuesday to vote on whether to award a tax incentive to a local landlord and developer whose maintenance practices have been called into question.

6 News has covered several stories of tenants who struggle with apartments owned by landlord Dave Paladino.

"We have different tenants contacting us, that live with him, almost weekly seeing if there's ways to get things fixed or get ridiculous move-out fees waived," Simon Hinton with Omaha Tenants United said.

Some of the problems have been remedied, but several local advocacy groups said it's taken pressure on Paladino to get it done.

A search of city inspections revealed Paladino's units have been subject to 66 code violations since 2015, and some of those violations are yet to be resolved.

The city said that Paladino is cooperating.

"I do know that Dave has had many of his properties in violation throughout the past few years. I also know that he has been very diligent and appropriate in speaking with our division to get those violation remedied and making the places habitable," Chief City Housing Inspector Scott Lane said.

The advocacy groups say it's not enough. They believe problems will continue to exist under Paladino's watch.

"It's not at all surprising that he'd be more responsive, I guess, leading up to trying to get TIF money. So I don't believe a long term pattern of behavior by any stretch of the imagination," Hinton said.

The city said they have it under control.

"I've encouraged him to meet with the residents and those philanthropic groups who are assisting those residents, specifically the refugee residents, and asked to pay attention to them," Lane said.

Paladino said he works hard to ensure residents in all of his over 1,000 rental units across the city are satisfied.

He also said that if he ends up receiving TIF from the city, he plans to renovate the Ainsworth and Beverly apartments downtown and turn them into one-bedroom apartments that he'll rent for about $700 a month.