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Boston Cleans Up Vermin Problem in Public Housing

There's something to be said for improving housing conditions. The city of Boston cleaned up its public housing and as a result, incidents of asthma have gone down, reports The Boston Globe.

Back in 2005, the Boston Public Health Commission joined forces with the city's housing authority, targeting the city's public housing. The joint task force aimed to clean up the public housing, ridding units of roaches, rodents and other vermin.

Roaches and rodents leave droppings behind which can cause respiratory issues, including asthma.

While many residents tried to attack this problem on their own, the problem only became worse through the use of harmful pesticides. That's when the city stepped in.

Landlords owe a duty to provide safe and healthy housing. They essentially owe a duty to provide premises that are habitable. This is called the implied warranty of habitability, which includes a guarantee that housing is free of vermin, pests and health concerns such as respiratory hazards.

After noticing that there was a high rate of asthma in the city's public housing, the city authorities took matters into their own hands.

They put a plan in place which addressed not just the infestation problem, but also the conditions leading up to rodent and roach infestation -- conditions such as leaks in plumbing, for one.

The city also focused on trash removal and worked with residents to remove clutter from their homes. They also produced a video about how to safeguard homes from vermin, and instructed residents to immediately notify management regarding any leaks or pests.

They also put building residents to work as housing advocates, to help others understand the issues. It looks like their efforts are now paying off.

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