See press release below:
BOSTON – Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn & Councilor At-Large Michael Flaherty held a hearing on Friday, May 28th to discuss strategies against large house parties. The hearing aims to discuss ways to provide stricter enforcement rules regarding large house parties and the city’s noise ordinance, including increasing fines. The hearing featured testimonies from Boston Police Department, Inspectional Services Department, as well as from concerned residents, and was attended also by Councilor Lydia Edwards.
Neighbors have reported an overwhelming number of large house parties, oftentimes between 30-40 people and hosted by renters with absentee landlords – with 600 911 calls in one weekend alone in South Boston. In fact, Superintendent Kevin McGoldirck from the Boston Police Department said that there are close to 4,200 calls related to loud music, and 2,400 are calls reporting on large parties this year already. These partiers often disturb neighbors with loud noises at all hours, and leave behind trash and litter on the street which attracts rodents and pests.
Superintendent McGoldirck and Chris English from Inspectional Services Department spoke about the existing process for neighbors who are disturbed by large parties, and hear directly from neighbors about their deteriorating quality of life due to these large parties. Currently, residents are to report large house parties to the Boston Police Department at 911, which can trigger potential placement on the city’s Problem Properties List. Councilor Flynn and Councilor Flaherty are urging the City of Boston to look at issuing increased fines for this out-of-control behavior, perhaps starting at $1,000 for a first offense, and exploring $2,000 for a second offense, and $3,000 for a third offense for those that repeatedly violate the city’s noise ordinance. Councilor Edwards suggested updating the city’s Noise Ordinance and have it in effect earlier, and Councilor Flynn also suggested having a dedicated liaison to deal with this issue.
Neighbors who offered public testimonies spoke about the level of noise and amount of trash that they were subjected to in their community due to large house parties. They recount the dramatic decline in quality of life due to these parties, seeing public urination and trash, and how the party throwers and absentee landlords show no respect for their neighbors and community. One resident recounted how elderly neighbors were harassed by a party thrower after she reported a party, and how sick and elderlly neighbors couldn’t sleep. “It blows my mind to see the amount of properties that are being called on, and the number of times they are called on,” she said. “I want to stay here, I want to raise my daughter here, but it’s becoming extremely difficult for all of us to have a good quality of life here.”
“I’ve heard from literally hundreds of neighbors that are outraged over these huge house parties in South Boston. Time and again we’re seeing renters, from absentee landlords, who want to extend their college frat days every Thursday to Sunday at all hours while showing blatant disrespect for their neighbors next door; young families, our seniors and persons with disabilities. The neighbors that helped to build this city, that live here and contribute to their community, that are paying increased property taxes while dealing with more quality of life issues – they’ve had enough,” said Councilor Flynn. “This was a significant issue prior to COVID-19, and though restrictions will be lifted due to the success of vaccination efforts, large house parties will undoubtedly continue to present these quality of life issues beyond the pandemic. It’s critical that we look to increase fines for those who violate city regulations, so that we help keep our neighborhoods peaceful, healthy and clean. I want to thank my colleagues, ISD, BPD, and the neighbors for being in this meeting, let’s continue working together on this issue.”
“Enough is enough. These out of control parties have been a burden on South Boston and communities across the city for too long,” said Councilor Flaherty. “We have tried to control them with the tools currently available to us, but these landlords and their tenants are not getting the message. It is time to hit absentee landlords and their tenants in the pocketbooks with increased penalties. We have no other choice if we stand any chance of improving the quality of life for our residents.”
For more information, please contact Councilor Flynn’s office at 617-635-3203, [email protected], or to Councilor Flaherty’s office at 617-635-4205, [email protected].