Omaha is facing a crisis. Vacant, abandoned and tax-delinquent lots and structures litter our city resulting in depressed property values and loss of property taxes. The perceived and real lack of investment compounds feelings of despair and poor self-image in many of the hardest hit neighborhoods. These conditions create havens for crime and present significant challenges to attaining a good quality of life.
Currently, more than 7,000 parcels in Omaha have some level of code violation, including more than 700 structures with demolition orders and nearly 4,000 parcels with an “unfit/unsafe” designation (meaning they are uninhabitable and in need of significant repair). More than half of these violations are concentrated in neighborhoods east of 42nd Street in North, South and Midtown Omaha. More than 25,000 parcels are vacant across Douglas County (including new lots). As of June 2013, delinquent property taxes and special assessments totaled $1,377,109.61. According to the Center for Community Progress, different combinations of these conditions lower nearby property values anywhere from 2.1 to 9.4 percent.