The August 3 partial building collapse at 173-175 Maverick Street has put a local developer and property manager under the microscope and on the radar of Boston’s Inspectional Services Department (ISD) Commissioner William Christopher.
Christopher said he toured the building after the collapse and was not happy about the condition.
“He has stabilized the building and we moved the tenants out at his expense,” said Christopher. “We saw that there was a the possibility of lack of maintenance to the building that most likely resulted in the back wall’s collapse.”
Christopher said he ordered the landlord to make the emergency repairs, hire a certified structural engineer to sign off on all emergency repairs being done and provide regular updates to ISD.
“ISD and the Mayor’s office are very involved in this situation and is a top priority in our world,” said Christopher.
Christopher confirmed that the building had previous ISD code violations as well as a stop work order prior to the building’s partial collapse that displaced 20 adults and six children.
East Boston’s Neighborhood of Affordable Housing’s Natasha Sierra, who is an advocate for the displaced residents, said those residents reported that problems have existed for sometime now.
“There are 10 families in all that have been replaced,” said Sierra. “Residents have complained for sometime now about the conditions in the buildings.”
Sierra said the tenants reported that they each allegedly received letters in July that their rents would be increased from $800 to $2,000 per month. Tenants received a subsequent correspondence that their leases would allegedly be terminated.
“They also said that prior to the collapse, workers were in the building doing foundation work but did not allegedly have the proper permits,” said Sierra.
Christopher confirmed that due to this a stop work order was issued 15 days prior to the collapse. However, the landlord pulled another permit for 175 Maverick and continued to work anyway. The back wall collapsed at this time.
Protesters from Vida Urbana hel
d a demonstration outside what they believed was the landlord’s home on Everett Street last week to protest the evictions of the tenants and the living conditions they had been forced to endure for several years.