We're the Omaha Municipal Land Bank (OMLB), and our goal is simple: transform Omaha's distressed neighborhoods into positive community assets. To do so, we will assess and acquire properties deemed no longer livable and either redevelop or demolish and start anew. It will take time, dedication and community participation, but opportunity will move in, one neighborhood at a time.Join Us
Omaha is a proud and vibrant city, but not without its challenges. Vacant, abandoned and tax-delinquent lots and properties litter neighborhoods, resulting in fear, increased crime, depressed property values and loss of property taxes.
Even though 'bank' is part of our name, land banks are not banks.
A land bank is a governmental, nonprofit organization that acquires vacant, abandoned or dilapidated properties and then improves them through development or redevelopment. At its heart, a land bank picks up the properties that have been neglected and rejected by the open market. By acquiring problem properties, eliminating their liabilities and transferring them to new owners in a manner most supportive of local needs and priorities, a land bank serves as a catalyst for transforming distressed properties into community assets – places where people want to live, work and play.
Every city has run down or abandoned properties. Vacant, empty and tax-delinquent lots and structures litter our city, compounding feelings of despair in our hardest hit neighborhoods. Over time, and especially when these properties are clumped together in one neighborhood, they can drag down property values and create an opportunity for crime to move in. Since the City can't collect taxes from these properties, it makes it hard for improvement to occur. The OMLB gives the City of Omaha a way to responsibly acquire, develop and inspire change in distressed properties.
If you live near run down, abandoned or dangerous properties, the land bank helps you by helping transform those buildings into new homes, businesses, parks, gardens or other beneficial places. The long term goals of the OMLB are to transform problem properties into community assets and to reinvigorate our hardest hit neighborhoods by facilitating development that leads to increased property values, reduced crime, improved opportunity and most importantly, renewed hope and pride in your neighborhood and our city.
An overriding public need to confront the dilemma of vacant, abandoned and tax-delinquent properties prompted the Nebraska Legislature to pass the Nebraska Municipal Land Bank Act in 2013, which enabled the City of Omaha in 2014 to create the OMLB. That same year, a board was appointed and its first meeting held. From 2015-2016, the board created policies, hired team members to form the staff of the land bank, developed a strategic plan and property system and began working to spread the word throughout the city about the land bank's presence and promise.
Every day, we work diligently with public, private and nonprofit community partners to make Omaha an even better place to live by perpetually turning problem properties into opportunities. An Executive Director and staff work under the supervision of the OMLB Board of Directors, which consists of seven voting members appointed by the Mayor of Omaha and confirmed by the Omaha City Council. The Omaha City Planning Director or designee serves as a nonvoting, ex-officio member. Five additional, nonvoting members are also appointed to the OMLB Board.
The land bank uses public funding, philanthropic contributions, property tax recapture, property sales, tax certificate redemptions and bonding authority to finance our efforts.
We recognize in order for long-term sustainable change to occur in Omaha's distressed neighborhoods, we need to build effective, ongoing fund development partnerships. Collaboration with and input from these stakeholders is critical to supporting the OMLB vision and achieving our mission.
When it comes to the development process, the Land Bank operates in the predevelopment phase, before construction begins to assess, acquire, prepare and dispose of properties so they can be improved and ultimately, lived in or open to serve the community as businesses.
The OMLB strategic plan guides our goals, objectives and strategies. We follow it to return vacant and abandoned property to productive use and revitalize Omaha. Five pillars connect our specific goals with our way forward:
We want to work side-by-side with you, our community members and neighbors. Please share your needs, questions and concerns so that we can better understand your priorities and barriers. Help us move opportunity into your neighborhood.
We’re moving opportunity into neighborhoods throughout Omaha, and we need your help (don’t worry, it doesn’t involve hauling furniture up three flights of stairs).
Donations of all levels are welcome and appreciated. Your donation will assist our efforts in one of four ways: acquisition (buying up properties for future renovation by businesses, individuals and nonprofits); demolition (leveling properties to make way for positive community assets); gardens (creating community spaces for healthy foods and healthy friendships to flourish); or operations (keeping our everyday costs — office supplies, printing, staffing, etc. — more manageable). Thank you.