Medford City Council passes ordinance requiring Tufts to submit off-campus addresses

Medford City Council unanimously passed the University and College Accountability ordinance yesterday, which requires Tufts to provide the city with an anonymized list of all student-owned, -leased, -rented or -operated properties in Medford. The list of addresses must be provided on a per-semester basis.

The ordinance applies to any postsecondary institution in Medford. Similar ordinances are already in effect in Somerville and Boston, according to Medford City Council Vice President Michael Marks.

The goal of the ordinance is to ensure that Tufts students are not violating Medford zoning rules, which limit occupancy in any given housing unit to three unrelated individuals, Marks said.

“I think this is a helpful tool to help code enforcement and provide safe apartments for Tufts students,” he said. “This is not vindictive. This is to provide safety for the students and to hold landlords accountable.”

Medford Code Enforcement Officer John Bavuso noted that students who violate Medford’s occupancy law, either because they are trying to save on rent or because they were misinformed by their landlord, are putting their safety at risk.

“I don’t want them to get injured or die because they couldn’t get out [of an overcrowded house],” Bevuso said. “It’s safety-driven.”