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Mayor Walsh announces multi-faceted off-campus student move-in strategy

August 27, 2014

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

 Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced a comprehensive strategy to assist students moving into off-campus housing in Boston’s neighborhoods for the 2014-2015 academic year. Representatives from several City departments will conduct targeted housing inspections, trash inspections, and information drops, in student-heavy neighborhoods, fromFriday, August 29, through Monday, September 1, 2014. In addition, the City has launched a social media campaign, called #Boston101, to highlight city services available to students throughout the year, as well as a revamped students section of the City of Boston’s website, at www.cityofboston.gov/students/.

 “We’re preparing for an efficient and effective student move-in process this year,” said Mayor Walsh. “By coordinating across departments, we will assist students moving into and across the City to get settled into safe off-campus housing, and provide them with the tools they need to stay connected with the City all year.”
 
The Inspectional Services Department (ISD) will have up to 50 inspectors canvassing Allston, Brighton, Fenway, and Mission Hill. Inspectors will target addresses with a history of violations, as well as units identified through random selection. They will execute on-the-spot rental safety inspections upon renter request, and confirm that units are registered with the City of Boston in compliance with the City's Inspection and Re-Inspection of Rental Units Ordinance, which requires that all private rental units are registered annually. Inspectors will be circulating through other Boston neighborhoods, including Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Dorchester, East Boston, Jamaica Plain, the North End, South Boston, and the South End to check for student move-in activity, and will deploy inspectors if necessary.

ISD and the Public Works Department (PWD) will be posting information about bed bugs, reminding students to avoid used furniture, and to notify their landlord immediately in the event of a suspected infestation. The Code Enforcement Division of PWD will be issuing citations for trash violations, including improperly placed trash, and trash placed on the curb on the incorrect trash day. Trash trucks will be circulating through key student move-in neighborhoods to collect discarded items that have been placed on the curb. New residents can visit www.cityofboston.gov/myneighborhood to find their trash and recycling dates.

On Monday, September 1, representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services will be staffing tents at Cleveland Circle in Brighton, at the Hess Gas Station at 100 Brighton Avenue in Allston, and in Calumet Square in Mission Hill. They will be distributing “#Boston101: Student Guides to City Services” booklets and a bookmark with move-in tips from ISD and Greenovate Boston. They will be on-hand to assist students with City information, and directing students with questions or concerns to call the Mayor’s Hotline at 617-635-4500, tweet @notifyboston, or use the City of Boston’s Citizen’s Connect App.

The Boston Transportation Department will be implementing on-street parking restrictions on several streets in Allston and Brighton from Friday, August 28, through Tuesday, September 2, and in Mission Hill and Fenway on Monday, September 1. In addition, on-street parking restrictions will be in effect around Northeastern University this week through to Monday, September 1. Signs will be posted in affected neighborhoods. For more information on street restrictions, visit www.cityofboston.gov/transportation/trafficadvisories.

The newly-redesigned website, www.cityofboston.gov/students, has been updated to improve user experience, providing relevant information on safe rental housing, move-in tips, public transportation, and things to do in the City. #Boston101 is a social media campaign featuring animated videos, blog posts, and graphic content that will run from the @NotifyBoston and @Onein3 Twitter handles during the month of September.

In 2013, there were nearly 36,000 undergraduate and graduate students estimated to be living off-campus in the City of Boston at more than 13,300 unique addresses. In July 2014, upon request of Mayor Walsh, Boston’s colleges and universities provided the City with the addresses of students living off-campus. Department of Neighborhood Development analysts reviewed the data and identified 437 addresses where more than four unrelated undergraduates might live, in violation of Boston’s Student Zoning Amendment. Of that list, 149 addresses, with 2,000 student residents, were flagged for potential concern, such as students exceeding the number of bedrooms. ISD has visited 137 of these units to look for violations since July, and will revisit them during the student move-in period.