City shuts down Northwest Omaha apartment complex for code violations

(Omaha, NE) -- Residents of Legacy Crossing apartments in northwest Omaha are having to find new homes, after the apartment complex is shut down by the City of Omaha due to code violations.

On Monday, Mayor Jean Stothert announce that the began evacuating residents from the 17 building complex located near 105th and Fort. “Six days before Christmas makes this a very difficult decision, but we must be proactive. The residents deserve safe housing, and we must act now to prevent tragedy,“ said Mayor Stothert.

Stothert says recent code violations include no heat, collapsed ceilings, raw sewage in standing water, rodent and cockroach infestations, water damage and mold, and water-damaged electrical wiring. “These conditions are the failure of the owner to provide routine maintenance and repairs, and vandalism to vacant apartments,” said Mayor Stothert.

In the last seven weeks, there have been two fires at the complex, including an arson fire on December 15th. The city says roughly 165 units were occupied as of Monday, but that they weren't sure exactly how many people lived at the complex. The property was recently under contract for sale. However, the buyer backed out prior to the closing date last week, and indicated the accelerated deterioration of the property since their first site visit as the reason. The City was notified Thursday that foreclosure proceedings are now underway. The owner’s representative has told both the fire and housing inspectors that they will not make repairs to the property or make any additional investment.

Inspectors from the Omaha Housing and Fire Departments started notifying residents of Legacy Crossing that the property is no longer safe and will be shut down. The city says with assistance from the Apartment Association of Nebraska, more than 100 immediate housing options with similar rents and in the same general northwest Omaha area have been identified for the Legacy Crossing residents.

Representatives from Heartland Family Service will provide tenant assistance, housing options, and emergency assistance. Several donors have provided $250,000 to assist tenants with relocation costs, including temporary housing, deposits for new apartments, and other unexpected expenses. The Omaha Community Foundation has created the Legacy Crossing Relief Fund“. Anyone who wishes to make a contribution to support the families can donate to the fund here.

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