December 3 - NOISE Report

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Omaha Together One Community, a collective action group, held a meeting to discuss the need for affordable housing and proactive inspections of rental units. Mark Vondrasek of Tenants United,  who advocate for tenant rights, spoke out:

“I’ve had conversations with developers about affordable housing and they...they are insistent that’s it just impossible. They act like the government should be building affordable housing. That they have absolutely no responsibility to build affordable housing at all.”

Hannah Weibel, a volunteer of Restoring Dignity who worked with families displaced from Yale Park apartments in September, had this to say:

“I was just with just with a sponsor over at family’s home and the mom is so upset because she lost her community. If these places had just been inspected in the first place, and all of these issues could have been taken care of in the first place, none of this would have had to happen, none of these families would have been displaced.”

A new multi-use urban development called the Millwork Commons is set to open north of downtown Omaha as soon as 2020. Ryan Ellis from PJ Morgan Real Estate met with community members to receive public input. Tanya Cooper, president of OIC neighborhood association asked Ellis about the use of eminent domain:

“Was there any push back from anyone who owned the property that you are acquiring and if you did acquire it through push back would eminent domain apply to any of those properties that people owned?” asked Cooper.

“No pushback, no eminent domain,” said Ellis.

Precious McKesson, neighborhood leader with North Omaha Neighborhood Alliance asked.

“So how are you going to address the homeless population because I mean, like I love that everything is being built but I don’t want to see it being built to where it’s kind of like closing them in. Because again we still have to be respectful.”

“We’re now at the phase of how do we figure that part out? Which I think is working with the shelter, collaborating,” said Ellis.