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Mayor Stothert plans to veto rental property registration plan

Posted: 7:50 PM, Apr 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-09 20:50:49-04
Mayor Jean Stothert talks about future after win

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — City Council approved a plan Tuesday requiring mandatory housing inspections every 10 years for each rental property in Omaha. Mayor Jean Stothert said she plans to veto the Council's action.

The ordinance was approved by City Council in a 4-3 vote. The approved plan was an amendment to a ordinance proposed by Mayor Stothert.

A mandatory landlord registry is included in the plan, which would be free to sign up for--but landlords would pay a $125 inspection fee.

Problem properties would be inspected annually.

Since Mayor Stothert promised to veto, the Council would need a 5-2 vote to pass the plan.

Stothert sent out a statement regarding the vote Tuesday afternoon:

"After months of public discussion, feedback from citizens, listening to testimony, and meeting with Council members, I have been clear that I am more than willing to compromise on my original proposed ordinance.

I fully support Councilmember Melton’s amendment, which offers more flexibility and we would know the effectiveness well before a 10-year cycle.

Required inspections every 10 years will accomplish nothing, and actually is an acknowledgment that the compliant, well-managed rental units are not the problem. Why would we spend time, personnel and taxpayer money on good, compliant landlords?

An analysis of the 10-year inspection program shows we would need to inspect an additional 3,700 units annually, approximately 2,800 single family units and 900 multi-family units. This estimate does not include re-inspections that would be needed if code violations are discovered.

This will require five additional housing inspectors and staff at an estimated cost of $595,000 annually.

I will veto the Council’s action today and suggest we consider a 2-step approach to adopt an aggressive program to inspect non-compliant units with code violations, then work out a plan for those who operate with no complaints."