Acting Mayor Kim Janey and other city officials welcomed college students back to Boston last week with an event in Allston on September 1.
Inspectional Services Department (ISD) Deputy Commissioner Marc Joseph said that ISD had been ensuring that all codes were being followed, as well as inspecting both the interior and exterior of apartment buildings where students are residing for working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and egresses and sanitation.
He added that fliers had also been distributed with information for students to call if any if those things still need to be addressed.
“This is an exciting time for the kids to move in and probably an anxious time for the parents,” Boston Fire Department Commissioner Jack Dempsey said. He advised all students to check their smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly, and warned them not to smoke inside.
“Kids aren’t very good at cooking when they’re new at it,” he added, and “cooking fires increase dramatically in these areas where the kids move in.”
Acting Mayor Kim Janey said that “we certainly want to welcome students back to Boston,” especially since many had to leave last year when schools went virtual because of the pandemic.
“We need our students to be safe,” she said, and ensure that their housing is “up to standard.”
She continued, “Where there are challenges, landlords will have to address those challenges. They deserve as they seek a great education in our city to love in housing that meets their needs.”
Janey said that 50,000 students are expected to arrive in Boston this fall, and are a big reason for the reinstated indoor mask mandate and a continued push for residents to get vaccinated. She said that 70 percent of Boston residents have received at least one shot.
On student apartments, Janey said that “any conditions not up to code” are being brought to the attention of landlords who are taking care of it.
“Landlords are being called in to address these issues and are being held accountable,” Janey said.
Janey was also asked what her “message” is “for landlords who don’t hold previous tenants and themselves accountable.”
She said that “Everyone in our city deserves to live in great housing. It has to be safe, and we’re not going to have deplorable conditions here; substandard conditions for anyone. No one deserves to live in squalor.”
Janey said that landlords are responsible for the proper upkeep of their units, and “previous tenants have to do their part as well. We don’t want to see fires; we don’t want to see rodents. All of those create issues for everyone.”