BOSTON (CBS) – Sidewalks in Allston were jammed with junk Thursday, prompting city inspectors to hand out citations to landlords as they cautioned college students about potential housing hazards.
Mattresses were everywhere, including under a man in a Santa suit mattress surfing off the back of a van.
It was clear Allston Christmas was over, when police gave him a stern talk.
“He said I wasn’t the brightest Santa. He said you probably shouldn’t be riding mattresses around the city,” said John Feitelberg.
Feitelberg brought the lighter side to the sometimes dark story of Boston student housing.
“We have a significant life-hazard down in these neighborhoods with students, and we’ve suffered some through the years. We’ve had some significant tragedies down here,” said Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn.
Inspectional Services gave out about 130 housing violations. Ten were environmental violations, while 373 stops were made to greet parents and students.
At one Allston home Thursday, a student moving out said his living situation has been a nightmare.
A new group of students was about to move into the home he was leaving, even though a homeless man’s belongings were strewn throughout the basement.
He said he came home from class to find a strange man in his kitchen.
“He sees one of my buddies, he doesn’t waste any time, takes off out the back door, runs down the street,” the student recalled.
He discovered a side door without a lock that led from the outside to the basement, though it has since been secured.
It’s one of many stories in a neighborhood where city inspectors say students and parents often pay top dollar for substandard living conditions.
“There are scuffs on the walls,” said Heidi Modaro, as she was helping her son move in from Texas. “There are bangs against the wall, and there are cabinets that are not in what I would say are regular condition.”