Former Yale Park tenants move forward

Posted at 5:32 PM, Oct 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-04 07:52:46-04

Families are still working to get some normalcy after being told they had to leave their homes because of major health and building violations.

The City of Omaha has sent 4 violation letters for entire buildings at the Yale Park Apartments.   A total of 13 buildings had to be vacated with hundreds of Karen refugees left without a permanent place to live.

13 days ago Greg Owen lived at the Yale Park Apartments with his wife and five children when they were told the buildings were condemned and they had to leave.  They stayed at the Columbus Park Shelter for 5 days before finding an apartment in downtown with the help of Heartland Family Service.  Owen says it was a tough transition...

"We had to do a lot of moving in that time and so the children were kind of restless I did see that, but this is when I sat down and talked with them and said, 'This is what mom and dad are going through right now.  Every thing's going to be fine.'" Owen described.

On September 20, Omaha Inspectors looked through every apartment and decided all 500 tenants had to vacate.  The city says there are between 2-3,000 violations ranging from mice and bed bug infestations to life-threatening gas and Carbon Monoxide leaks.

Owen says more needs to be done.

"We were not the only ones. There's some apartments on 48th Street there are some on north 65th that I'm hearing have very similar issues," Owen explained.  "Inspections routinely really need to be done in general."

Mayor Jean Stothert, city council members, and members of the City Planning Department will meet every two weeks to come up with a long-term plan on how to handle problem landlords and properties.