Overcrowding Is a Serious Problem for Boston | National Apartment Association

Overcrowding Is a Serious Problem for Boston

The city’s first-ever student housing report highlights safety concerns with off-campus housing and student housing development solutions.

Conditions of off-campus housing may not meet the city housing policies for the more than 91,000 undergraduates and 56,000 graduate students enrolled at Boston-area colleges as of 2014, according to a new student housing report issued by the office of Mayor Martin Walsh. 

The report identifies the mayor’s three housing priorities for college students, which are ensuring safe off-campus housing by restricting the number of student residents per housing unit, constructing new on-campus housing units to meet demand, and collaborating with private developers to build more off-campus housing communities. 

In January, the city identified 580 properties (a number that has since risen to 589) that were potentially unsafe and stated that it would inspect all of them. If current predictions are accurate, this endeavor will be done by June 2016.

In addition to ordering inspections of student housing to ensure policy compliance, Walsh has asked Boston’s universities to add 18,500 new beds by 2030. At this point, 25 percent of these new beds should be constructed by 2018.   

The goals are to protect students from unscrupulous rental practices and to relieve pressure on the private rental market from the number of college students seeking housing in the city.


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