45 homes in North and South Omaha set to be torn down
Landlord Task Force unveils new initiatives to reduce crime
Omaha, NE - Mayor Jim Suttle and the Landlord Task Force want to reduce crime in Omaha by eliminating abandoned houses.
Mayor Suttle says his office and the City Council have invested $800,000 dollars to get rid of problem properties.
A boarded up, red brick house at 31st Avenue and Redick was torn down today. It's one of about 45 homes set to be torn down over the next few months.
Neighbors said this particular home was destroyed by fire a year ago. It has sat empty since then with the owner showing up occasionally to remove items.
When it was torn down today, there were still clothes and home furnishings inside.
Neighbors are happy the area is finally being cleaned up because it was a safety issue.
"I'm glad to finally get that eyesore down, that way I don't have to pick up any more trash blowing from over there into my driveway," said Sherry Beaugard.
There are two pieces of legislation before the Nebraska Unicameral to get owners to repair dilapidated properties.
One calls for stiffer penalties for zoning violations. Landlord Task Force Co-Chair Mike Getty says right now, the fines are less than $100.
Another bill would allow some of the insurance money to be held back on a house that catches fire. Those funds would help pay for the demolition instead of using taxpayer money.
There's also a city ordinance being proposed that would allow landlords to assign their eviction rights to the city if they need help getting a tenant to move out.
Here is a list of the first group of homes set to be demolished in Omaha:
2120 S. 48th Avenue
4051 Grand Avenue
4601 Florence Blvd.
1623 Center Street
6514 N. 31st Avenue
1401 Ellison Avenue
424 Center Street
5901 S. 15th Street
Mayor Suttle said each home costs about $10,000 to $12,000 to demo and have utilities shut off.
The Mayor would like to get legislation passed that would create a land banking concept. It would allow the city to get control of the demolished lots and put them in the hands of private home builders from the west part of the city so they can start rebuilding.