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Applying new siding at the Yale Park Apartments are, from left, Jahiro Villa, Pablo Inda, Richard Medina and Anthony Portillo. So far, 34 units spread out across five buildings are available to rent. ‘We can’t stop a private owner from fixing his stuff and re-renting it,” said Scott Lane, the City of Omaha’s chief housing inspector.

After sitting empty for months, the Yale Park Apartments are open again.

Landlord Kay Anderson is fixing up the 13 buildings on his property and renting them out one by one as work is completed and has passed city inspections. He has said he’ll funnel the rental income he makes into ongoing repairs.

At the complex near 34th Avenue and Lake Street, new siding is being installed. Lists taped inside each unit detail the code violations that must be remedied, from new fire detectors to code-compliant electrical conduits.

The news that the apartments would be rented out again was met with dismay by some. More than 500 refugees from Myanmar were evacuated from the complex a year ago this month after inspectors found nearly 2,000 code violations.

In February, Scott Lane, the City of Omaha’s chief housing inspector, said city inspectors will check any construction with a “fine-tooth comb” but said if the improvements check out, “we can’t stop a private owner from fixing his stuff and re-renting it.”

So far, 34 units spread out across five buildings are available to rent, according to Dave Fanslau, the city planning director. The city’s Property Maintenance Appeals Board has granted Anderson several deadline extensions to correct violations.

The permit and inspections process “has improved with each unit because Mr. Anderson and his contractors became better educated about the permit and inspection process and the expectations of the city,” Fanslau wrote in an email. “Inspections have been satisfactory. The work has been code compliant.”

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Reporter - Education

Erin is an enterprise reporter for the World-Herald. Previously, Erin covered education. Follow her on Twitter @eduff88. Phone: 402-444-1210.

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