In a glowing story published by the Telegram and Gazette on January 12, MassLandlords Director Emeritus Mike O’Rourke was praised for cleaning up the infamous Albion rooming house in downtown Worcester.
Mike’s ownership began September 2016. Prior to his hands-on management, code violations, first responder calls, and opioid overdoses were extreme. From January 2015 to April 2016, there were 84 code violations. In 2017, there were 11 opiate overdoses. From 2013 to 2016, there were 1,500 police calls and 400 ambulance calls.
Now that Mike’s processes are in place, things are different. In 2018, there were 268 police calls (down 82%), one opioid overdose (down 91%), and zero code violations (down 100.0%).
Other rooming house operators should take note of Mike’s hard-and-fast rules. No residents have a key to the front door. Staff are on-site and buzz in residents with at most one guest at a time, and never a known troublemaker. ID’s are required for all guests. No smoking is allowed. Stoves are on timers and can’t be turned on after 9pm, when someone on medication might forget about their dinner and cause a fire. Bathrooms are cleaned by staff. All renter damage is repaired immediately. The building has a full-time manager. Mike personally spends 20 hours a week at the property.
“These people have no place to go after this,” Mike told the Telegram.
Many of the renters rely on the affordability of a single room with a shared kitchen and bath. The cheapest rent in the building is $550/mo, half what is typically imagined for a Worcester one-bedroom apartment.
The resident’s positive comments have to be read to be believed. Find more at the Telegram.com.