Some residents stroll past a typical Allston Christmas display. Photo: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro
This year's Allston Christmas move-in extravaganza plopped plenty of personal effects on city streets over the weekend, but Boston officials said they were still pleased with how streamlined the event was compared to previous years.
The student-heavy move-in weekend typically culminates on Sept. 1 with countless mattresses, boxes, and an assortment of unique personal effects.
"The overall process has been a lot better. We had much better data and more coordination,” said William 'Buddy' Christopher, Inspectional Services Department Commissioner.
A new inspections initiative brought 50 inspectors from various city departments to canvas Allston, Brighton, Fenway, Mission Hill and South Boston over the infamous move-in weekend in an effort tosniff out any tenants breaking housing compliance rules.
According to a city spokeswoman, Inspectional Services has issued 120 violations and21 $300 tickets for unsafe and unsanitary units as of Monday afternoon.
Inspectors also issued 1,100 code enforcement tickets, picked up190 tons of trash and recycling, and posted120 bed bug notices.
Morethan 2,000 tickets were issued during the same period last year, which wasless than half the number of handed out during the 2012 move-in period. The city has attributed the year-over-year improvements to its effort cracking down on landlords in student neighborhoods.
A man shleps a moving box in Allston on Sept. 1, 2014. Photo: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro
Another difference that stood out this year, Christopher noted, was noticeably more student move-in activity in South Boston as compared to last year.
"They ran into the usual - waiting for their keys, traffic problems and such," said Christopher. "But the feeling this year was very good. We were out talking to parents and sending the message, 'We're here to help you.' It softens the blow to some of these people moving in."
Two of the most concerning problems during move-in weekend are smoke detector violations and leaky pipes, Christopher said, though traffic is always a problem.
"The police department redirected streets this year," said Christopher. "Traffic is usually the nightmare. This year, it wasn't a pleasure, but it wasn't a full nightmare."
In 2013, there were nearly 36,000 undergraduate and graduate students estimated to be living off-campus in Boston at more than 13,300 unique addresses.
This past July, upon request of Boston Mayor Martin 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. Inspectional Services has visited 137 of those units to look for violations since July, and again revisited them over the move-in weekend.
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