Report looks at ways to reduce crime in Omaha by removing rundown properties

Aug 30, 2012

A task force studying the role of poorly maintained properties in Omaha’s crime activity has released a list of 59 recommendations.

The Landlord Task Force report identifies four areas for tackling rundown, abandoned, or vacant properties: prosecution, administration, cooperation, and education.

The Omaha City Council voted this week to put an additional $200,000 toward the demolition of condemned properties. Mike Getty, Assistant City Prosecutor, says that’s an important tool for reducing crime. “These houses are vacant for a long time, and without the demolition it’s a bad thing, without the threat of demolition sometimes our prosecution becomes more difficult. So finding money to take these eyesores out of circulation are vital.”

Other recommendations are:

-a training and certification program for landlords

-a more streamlined system for background checks on potential tenants,

-revitalizing a UNO program called Neighborhood SCAN.

-changes to city law to more clearly define an active civil nuisance

-ordinance changes that would give the city the right to evict problem tenants.

The Omaha City Council could be discussing changes to code enforcement and nuisance ordinances within the next few weeks.