In response to the Nov. 5 editorial “Party ordinance would be harsh on young Bostonians,” we write in support of the proposed ordinance, which would address some longstanding issues within Mission Hill and Jamaica Plain. We speak for a range of neighbors and organizations including Sociedad Latina, Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services, Back of the Hill Community Development Corporation, and the Hyde Square Task Force.
“Town and gown” relationships in Boston and other cities are complicated and tense, affecting the quality of life and local economies of host communities. We need a multipronged approach that requires institutions and landlords to contribute to the peace, safety, and cleanliness of our neighborhoods. Institutions must provide more affordable housing for their students, and landlords, many of whom do not live in our neighborhoods, must invest resources to actively manage properties and assume responsibility for buildings, tenants, and visitors.
Not all students are a problem, but in Mission Hill, Jamaica Plain, and increasingly in other neighborhoods across Boston, student tenants pay high rents, driving up housing costs, and regularly host loud parties, complete with screaming, littering, public drinking and urination, and vandalism.
Our neighborhoods should be as quiet and clean as the local university campuses, where loud, destructive student behavior is not sanctioned. We need a similar approach to protect those of us with children who go to bed at 7 p.m. and jobs that start at 7 a.m.
The writers are, respectively, executive director of Sociedad Latina and senior project director of Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services.