T&G cover stories on the Albion and urban blight

Bronislaus Kush has two articles in today’s Telegram about the Albion and other problem properties.

The Albion has recently gotten its lodging house license renewed by the License Commission, and has drawn the attention of numerous government officials and media outlets.

Today’s article about the Albion says that it has 70 units and that tenants pay $400-500 a month [for a single room and shared bathroom and kitchen facilities]. By my reckoning, that means that a month of full occupancy would bring in $35,000.

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The management is spending nearly a third of what comes in — $10,000 — on police details for the problem hours of 9pm-1am. They’ve got cleaning crews coming in every day.

We learned in last month’s Worcester Mag article that the company recently spent $40,000 on updating the fire alarm system. They spend at least $10,000 a year on property tax as well.

One wonders how long any owners (who bought the building last year for $605,000) could afford to keep up that kind of maintenance, on both the security and cleanliness fronts. Would there ever be a time when they would not have to spend nearly a third of their income on security of one sort or another? Have the issues with drug dealers living inside the building been addressed?

It should concern all of us that the city allowed so many code issues to continue to go on at the same time that we were announcing that we’d conquered homelessness. I hope that we continue to push for better conditions at the Albion, but that we also make sure that the owners’ efforts are ones that they can continue. It’s unclear to me how long they’ll be able to afford this kind of attention to a problem property.

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