Call For Urban Renewal

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Many in Omaha are sick of junky, dangerous houses in their neighborhoods and they want something done. Omaha Together One Community (OTOC) is behind the push.

There are a few homes in the neighborhood of 33rd and Burt that should be demolished. Neighbors say they are tired of looking at the condemned posters on houses. Homes like these are in every neighborhood across the city. OTOC says there are more than 700 sites in Omaha that are dragging neighborhoods down.

“We need to get that backlog down where it is not 700, where it’s maybe a hundred or close to zero, it just has to happen for livability and for the future growth of our city,” said OTOC’s Gloria Austerberry.

OTOC wants the city to spend $1 million a year for the next four years to clean up the mess throughout the city. Bette Tanner has lived in the neighborhood of 33rd and Burt all of her life and can’t believe what goes on in one rundown home. Crystal Blanton is trying to raise children right next door.

“There was quite a bit of activity in the summertime,” said Blanton. “I'm not sure what they were doing, but it was late night, you could see lighters flicking."

"And there was prostitution and everything you can think of going on in there,” added Tanner.

OTOC plans to hold a candidate accountability session 7 p.m. Monday at St. Pius Church Parish Center at 69th and Blondo to discuss with mayoral and City Council candidates a number of topics, including increasing funding to tear down condemned buildings.