Elderly Family (150)

Elderly & Disabled Housing Security

City of Boston Elderly & Disabled Development Security Ordinance (CBC 9-11)

Security Ordinance

The Senior Security Ordinance for Elderly/Disabled Housing was passed in 1989 by the City Council. The ISD Housing Division, along with the Boston Police Department, administers compliance with the requirements of this Ordinance. This ordinance seeks to ensure, maintain and improve the security of tenants in Elderly and Disabled Housing Developments.


The Ordinance in effect today stems from the Security Ordinance for Elderly/Handicapped housing that was developed in 1984 by the Mayor and the Boston City Council, Council of Elders, and Mass Senior Action Council to ensure the safety of elderly/handicapped residents within the City of Boston.

Classification of Elderly/Disabled Developments

The Commissioner of Elder Affairs maintains a list of elderly/disabled developments under the following classification:

Any building structure, development or complex of 10 or more units rented or offered for rent for dwelling purposes within the City of Boston, designed or designated for rent by elderly/handicapped persons.


The City of Boston’s Inspectional Services enforces and administers the provisions of this ordinance. However, the ordinance requires a security review along with recommendation from the Boston Police Department in developments that lack 24-hour safety officers. 

Police Department Role

BPD responds to requests from the owner and/or ISD to conduct crime prevention surveys. The surveys entail inspecting the lighting, locks, alarms, doors, and a review of area crime. After completing the survey, the conducting officer develops recommendations and includes them in the survey on BPD stationary.

24-hour Safety Officers: The development may elect to provide 24-hour safety officer(s). Or, the Police Department could recommend that safety officers are needed and for what length of time, based on the crime survey.

Tenant Organizations

Tenant Associations can be very helpful in informing ISD of resident issues and concerns. They allows residents to have input on the final security plan for their development.
Elderly/Disabled Security Plan (Example)

Public Hearings

Upon receiving a security plan from the development, ISD schedules a hearing, typically at the affected development, for public discussion on the plan. Hearing notices are posted 10 days in advance in the affected development. At the hearing, the tenants, the landlord, police officers, and any other witnesses may testify and may also submit any documentation. Following the hearing, a written decision is issued by the ISD Hearing officer.

Security Complaints

Residents are free to call ISD whenever they believe that there are security concerns in elderly and disabled developments, even after a hearing decision is rendered.

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