on November 6th, 11am

BOSTON – Boston City Councilors Ed Flynn, Michael Flahery, and Liz Breadon will be hosting a virtual hearing regarding large house parties this Friday, November 6th, at 11am. The Councilors filed this hearing order in mid-October to discuss ways to better enforce rules regarding house parties and indoor gatherings. There have been concerning reports from neighbors regarding large house parties and their potential to become superspreader events due to a lack of proper physical distancing and mask wearing. Neighbors have also highlighted loud noise and trash removal issues as negatively impacting their quality of life. This hearing order aims to discuss methods that the city can use to ensure that public health and noise regulations are followed, including the possibility of raising fines.

As we remain in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, large house parties are concerning not only because their potential to become superspreader events, but also due to their noise and impact on the quality of life for our residents, as these partiers often leave behind trash and litter on the street, attracting rodents and pests. In Governor Baker’s COVID-19 Order #52, it states that there should  never be more than 25 persons in a single enclosed, indoor space, and failure to comply may result in a civil fine of up to $500 per violation.

Councilor Flynn held a Zoom meeting last month with 90 neighbors and officials from the Inspectional Services Department (ISD) and the Boston Police Department (C-6), who continued to encourage residents to contact 911 for them to respond and enforce regulations on noise levels and gatherings. If a property is a repeated offender, residents are encouraged to email Aisha Miller, Assistant Commissioner with ISD, at [email protected] to investigate the property and potentially place it on the city’s Problem Properties List. As we continue to hear these reports of house parties, we need to talk about stricter enforcement of the Governor’s order and further mechanisms to disincentivize people from having large parties, including stricter enforcement, and increasing the fines on repeat offenders.

“As we continue to hear about COVID-19 cases spiking not only nationally, but with rising positivity rates locally in the city and state, these reports of large house parties in our city remain a serious concern,” said Councilor Flynn. “The Governor has stated for several weeks that our young people are driving the single biggest rise in cases. It is critical for our young professionals, and all residents, to refrain from reckless and inconsiderate behavior with no physical distancing or mask wearing that could potentially create superspreader events, along with other quality of life concerns. With winter approaching and the potential for a second wave locally, it is crucial to discuss strict enforcement, higher fines and penalties for offenders.”  

For more information on the hearing, please visit https://www.boston.gov/public-notices/13670436, or contact Councilor Flynn’s office at 617-635-3203 or [email protected].

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