Omaha officials weigh landlord issues, incentives
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Omaha City Council members are exploring options to place additional requirements on awarding project incentives and have delayed granting a developer’s request to help fund two projects following tenant complaints about his other properties.
City Council will revisit Dave Paladino’s $285,000 request for tax-increment financing on Jan. 29, The Omaha World-Herald reported .
Council member said they want to consider whether the city should be able to place additional requirements on those seeking project incentives. State law currently doesn’t allow officials to look at a landlord’s history when considering such financing requests, according to the city’s attorney.
Paladino’s former and current tenants allege he didn’t properly address faulty appliances in a timely manner. They also allege that he overcharged for damage they say they didn’t cause.
Paladino has had issues with code-enforcement, but has been responsive to remedy issues, said Scott Lane, the city’s chief housing inspector.
Paladino said the complaints were hurtful because he believes he’s a reputable businessman. He aims to renovate two historic apartment buildings in order to provide more affordable housing options. The project is expected to cost $3.2 million.
The TIF funds would be used to cover acquisition, architectural and engineering fees. The incentives, which are meant to for redevelopment projects in blighted areas, allow developers to use future property taxes generated by their projects to pay certain upfront development costs.
Hannah Wyble, a member of advocacy group Restoring Dignity, said Paladino’s actions should exclude him from receiving a city incentive.
“Taxpayers should not be footing the bill for ill-maintained apartment buildings,” she said.
Council President Ben Gray suggested delaying the council vote on the issue. He said he’s looking to be fair.
The council will also consider creating a landlord registry, Gray said. Proponents believe a registry could help monitor problem properties.
Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com