The Omaha City Council’s planning committee will start talks on a potential landlord registry ordinance next week.

Councilman Pete Festersen, chairman of the committee, said he has called a special meeting for Oct. 2 to start a conversation about requiring landlords to register with the city and agree to regular inspections of their rental property.

Festersen said he’s also open to “some other mechanism” to ensure safe and sanitary housing for all.

“The situation we all encountered last week is unacceptable,” he said. “It’s apparent we need to do a better job of ensuring quality and affordable housing for everyone.”

The city last week evacuated 500 refugees, many of them children, from the Yale Park Apartments after tenants filed more than 90 code violation complaints with the city. The city has said it knew about problems at the north Omaha complex but couldn’t do anything until formal complaints were filed.

Festersen said that while most landlords are good operators, it’s clear that the complaint-based inspection system isn’t adequate for those who are not.

Kay Anderson, the complex’s on-site landlord and owner, has denied that conditions were as bad as reported. But city inspectors found unsafe and unsanitary conditions that added up to more than 1,000 code violations. They included electrical problems and gas leaks.

City Council President Ben Gray last week said he is working with the city’s Planning Department to introduce a landlord registry ordinance. The head of the Metropolitan Omaha Property Owners Association, also known as MOPOA, said the organization would oppose such an effort.

Mayor Jean Stothert said she supports the concept but would need to see what specifically is proposed.

Festersen said Gray would be included in the planning committee’s discussion. The committee includes Councilmen Brinker Harding and Rich Pahls. The committee meetings are not open to the public.

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