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Problem properties in Boston

The Problem Properties Task Force has created a list of “problem properties” in the City.

How does a property become a “problem property”? We look at many details, including:

  • issued and outstanding violations related to the building, housing, and sanitary codes
  • the number of calls to the City's public safety agencies, and
  • any other City incident reports written about the property over the past 12 months.

We investigate the issues associated with a property before adding it to the problem property list. Our task force also sends letters to owners about the designation. A property stays on the list until its owner addresses the outstanding issues.

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Problem properties map

View a map of problem properties in the City of Boston.
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List of problem properties

Address Neighborhood Parcel ID Name / Owner (if applicable) Date of Designation
438 Talbot Ave Dorchester 1601440000 JP Morgan Chase Bank October 13, 2021
43 Withington Street Dorchester 1701350000

Sa Sathuan

P.O. Box 6650

Providence RI 02940

October 13, 2021
48 Stockton Street Dorchester 1702876000 C/O US Bank National Associate
48 Stockton Street
Dorchester MA 02124
October 13, 2021
48 Lorna Road Mattapan 1800472000 Mai S. Harris
48 Lorna Road
Mattapan MA 02126
October 13, 2021
73 Maywood Street  Roxbury 1200995001

HS Land Trust             

100 Hallet Street

Dorchester MA 02124

October 13, 2021
34 Marcella Street Roxbury 1100398000

Morrison George Trust C/O United Housing

530 Warren Street

Dorchester MA 02121

October 13, 2021
296 HF Shawmut Avenue South End 0305988000 C/O Ramon M Mansour TS
56 Bowers Street
Newton, MA 02460
October 13, 2021

About the Task Force

Why the task force was created

Strong, vibrant neighborhoods are built around a perception of safety and shared vitality. One bad property on a street can disrupt the quality of life for the people living nearby. To address crime and blight in our neighborhoods, the City created the Problem Properties Task Force in 2011.

The Task Force represents more than a dozen City departments and agencies. As part of our work, we identify “problem properties.” These properties often soak up the City’s public safety and neighborhood resources. In some cases, these addresses are centers of drug use, violence, or other crimes. In other cases, they are visual blights that pose a safety hazard. In all cases, owners have allowed their properties to become chronic problems.

Through our enforcement authority, the Task Force holds property owners responsible. We empower the City to levy fines against absentee landlords. We also give citizens a way to address quality of life issues.

Designating a property

Task Force investigations

There are several ways that properties may be brought to the Task Force’s attention, including:

  • through City departments and agencies
  • through BOS:311 complaints, and
  • from members of the public through the Office of Neighborhood Services.

City departments and agencies will suggest properties based on reasons specific to their work. Members of the public often suggest properties that are blighted, or seem to have lots of criminal activity.

When a property is designated a “problem property,” there have been at least four valid complaint incidents in the past 12 months. But, the process is a little more involved than just the four complaints. The Task Force always reviews the exact nature and severity of all issues.

Designation process

After we collect information and completes our investigation, we make a decision on the property. We prepare a formal notice for property owners. Our task force sends this notice through registered mail to the address of the problem property, and it includes:

  • information about the nature of the issues at the property, and
  • a request to contact the Task Force chair and the local District Police Captain or the Inspection Services commissioner. These officials help develop a method through which a property owner can address their issues.

Property owners can appeal their designation. There is a formal process to appeal the designation before an appointed appeals board.

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