For Immediate Release
August 30, 2013
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
For the 14th consecutive year, Mayor Thomas M. Menino today kicked off the annual weeklong Hub Move-In Campaign, beginning with a visit to the GAP (Gardner, Ashford, Pratt) area of Allston that is heavily populated with college students living off campus. The campaign began this morning at 8:00 a.m., with multiple city agencies combining resources and services to address problems that arise during the move-ins and help alleviate stresses placed on neighborhoods across the city.
“As summer winds down and we move into fall, our city comes alive as we welcome back thousands of students who attend our local colleges and universities,” Mayor Menino said. “It’s so important for us to use this opportunity to educate students and their parents about their rights as tenants and their responsibility to be good neighbors. We’ve put together a great team of professionals to be in our most impacted neighborhoods this week, not only enforcing codes but also helping new and longtime residents resolve any quality of life issues.”
City agencies participating in this year’s program include: the Inspectional Services Department (ISD), the Boston Transportation Department (BTD), the Public Works Department (PWD), the Boston Police Department (BPD), the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS) and the Mayor’s 24-Hour Hotline.
These agencies will provide additional services to neighborhoods with a high rate of off-campus housing. The program consists of the distribution of informational brochures, code inspections, the removal of garbage, trash and debris, as well as the enforcement of traffic and parking regulations. In some neighborhoods, certain two-way streets will temporarily be changed to one-way allowing for a safe flow of traffic.
Wearing City of Boston t-shirts, Northeastern University co-op students will serve as the “Mayor’s College Crew,” city representatives welcoming students across Boston by actively educating them about city policies regarding proper trash disposal and other possible code enforcement issues. They will also report issues that they observe to the Mayor’s 24-Hour Hotline via smart phones equipped with the award-winning and nationally-recognized Citizens Connect application.
Boston Police have been working with area universities at monthly meetings to discuss and work through student housing issues. The City is also working with Universities in an effort to accurately count students in off-campus housing and identify potential overcrowding of residences.
Rental Housing Ordinance
The City of Boston’s revised Rental Inspection Ordinance was passed in December to enhance current standards for the health and safety of rental housing in Boston. The Ordinance covers about 140,000, or more than 85 percent of Boston’s approximately 167,800 rental units, and requires that Boston landlords can be easily identified and held accountable when they fail to provide safe and decent housing for tenants. Over the next five years, every unit covered under the Ordinance will receive an approved inspection or be covered by an Inspectional Services-approved alternative compliance plan. The City will tackle inspections of units owned by landlords with a history of non-compliance in the first year.
- Requires annual registration of all rental units.
- Requires owners in non-owner/occupied buildings to visibly post contact information.
- Requires an inspection once every five years by: an Inspectional Services Housing Inspector, a Section 8 Inspector or an Inspectional Services Department (ISD) trained and approved private inspector.
- Establishes a publicly available “Chronic Offender Registry” for landlords who regularly fail to correct problems. Those on the Chronic Offender Registry are subject to fines of $300 and other applicable enforcement measures.
- Prioritizes problem properties by placing them first on the list for inspection. “Problem properties” include those with poor inspection records, significant court records and complaints, or placement on the City of Boston’s “Problem Property Task Force” list.
Reminders for Residents
- Household debris and trash should be placed out on regularly scheduled pickup days – violators will be fined.
- ISD's Code Enforcement team will be out in full force to ensure compliance with proper disposal of trash.
- To prevent bed bugs, never pick up furniture or luggage left at the curb for trash collection and avoid buying second-hand furniture or luggage. Residents can place unwanted furniture on the curb for collection on their regular trash pickup days.
- BTD and BPD will keep roads clear for emergency vehicles and facilitate traffic flow. Please follow direction of posted signs for any special parking and traffic rules in your area: http://www.cityofboston.gov/news/Default.aspx?id=6304.
- The City encourages the general public to make use of public transportation as much as possible.
Reminders for Renters
- ISD Housing inspectors will be out in force to ensure that landlords comply with the mandatory rental inspection ordinance and rental unit delivery standard ordinance.
- Tenants can request on-the-spot inspections with officials from ISD.
- Renters should carefully inspect their new apartment.
- The City's Rental Housing Resource Center helps both landlords and tenants learn about their rights and responsibilities and are available to help mediate disputes. The department can be reached at (617) 635-RENT (7368).
- Students are encouraged to visit www.cityofboston.gov/students, which includes important information on safety, housing, transportation, parking, voter registration and basic city services.
Residents are encouraged to call Mayor Menino’s 24-hour Hotline with any questions or concerns at (617) 635-4500 or to report any issues. The aim of City departments is to make this weekend as problem free as possible and any assistance from residents is encouraged. University staff will also be available in the neighborhoods welcoming students and handing out information.