May open houses aim to gather community perspective for Omaha affordable housing plan

By: - April 19, 2022 4:03 pm

Omaha downtown skyline (Courtesy of RDG Planning & Design)

A series of open houses will be held in Omaha throughout May to gather community feedback as city managers and RDG Planning & Design develop Omaha’s housing affordability action plan.

May 2, 6:30 p.m., Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Room 201/205.

May 3, 6 p.m., The Venue at Highlander, 2120 N. 30 St.

May 4, 6 p.m., Benson High School, 5120 Maple St.

May 5, 6 p.m., Livestock Exchange Building, Brandeis Ballroom, 4920 S. 30 St.

May 9, 6 p.m., Countryside Community Church, 13130 Faith Plaza.

May 11, 6 p.m., Millard West High School, 5710 S. 176 Ave.

May 17, 6 p.m. Saddlebrook Community Center, 14850 Laurel Ave. 

The goal is to identify strategies and develop a blueprint for quality housing options, including dwellings that are financially accessible to more people.

Omaha officials earlier this year approved a contract with RDG to help create the plan. 

Such strategies detailing efforts to incentivize affordable housing are required by Nebraska cities under legislation adopted by state lawmakers and approved by Gov. Pete Ricketts in 2020.

RDG principal Amy Haase said the May engagement sessions also will guide development of the city’s “Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing.” 

During the public events, people are invited to express views on housing needs in their neighborhood and the broader city, and to share thoughts on city efforts and programs. Each session is to last about an hour and a half.

“Housing is a foundational element of our community as it touches everyone who lives, works and plays in Omaha, and we fully recognize how quality housing positively impacts people’s health and wellbeing,” said Omaha Planning Director Dave Fanslau. “It is because of this we are excited to partner with the larger community to develop specific actions to address housing and housing affordability.”

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Cindy Gonzalez
Cindy Gonzalez

Senior Reporter Cindy Gonzalez, an Omaha native, has more than 35 years of experience, largely at the Omaha World-Herald. Her coverage areas have included business and real estate development; regional reporting; immigration, demographics and diverse communities; and City Hall and local politics. She has won awards from organizations including Great Plains Journalism, the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW) and the Associated Press. Cindy has been recognized by various nonprofits for community contributions and diversity efforts. She chairs the board that oversees the local university’s student newspaper.