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North Omaha residents discuss affordable housing during meeting Thursday

Posted at 8:51 AM, May 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-27 09:51:15-04

North Omaha residents gathered to discuss housing Thursday — specifically affordable housing, redlining and gentrification.

The discussion was centered around an out-of-state company that's buying up homes in Omaha at a higher rate than anyone else, many of the houses being in north Omaha.

Vinebrook Homes is paying all cash, no contingencies, above asking price, making it so that north Omaha natives can't afford to purchase, or even rent the houses in their own neighborhood.

This is just making the housing situation worse.

Panelists say it's leading to displacement and gentrification, but they add that there is hope, especially with the recently passed North Omaha Recovery Act.

Senator Justin Wayne said the hard part is starting now — distributing that money.

He says they can't just build more affordable housing units.

"What we're doing is affordable housing, is the end product of us growing contractors and scaling up individuals so we can create jobs to live in these homes," said Wayne.

Panelists say they want to change the language used surrounding affordable housing as typically it is determined by the median income of the city.

But they say some who make more than the median income still can't afford housing.

While community members are concerned about Vinebrook Homes and things like their property taxes increasing because of the company, panelists say it's a nuanced problem and there's no simple solution.

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