The next part of the postdoc guide book deals with housing. This is a topic very close to my heart, because when I moved to Boston everybody in my lab was either too political correct or too uninterested to tell me that apartment hunting in Roxbury isn’t something a single woman should be doing. But I only had been to Boston for a couple of days and needed an apartment fast. Maybe the postdoc guide book could have helped me.
BU housing is for students, there are only very few apartments for staff, and postdocs are staff, no matter what people would like to think.
BU also provides help in finding off-campus housing, with a little twist: you have to have a BU password, which isn’t all that helpful, if you are new in Boston and need to find a place to sleep, before you start lab work.
However the postdoc guide book helpfully provides quite a few links to other sources. Most of them are to realtors, which is good, because there are very few apartments available in Boston without one. Some of the links are no longer available but can be found again by quick googling.
To my surprise I learned that BU has an Office of Housing Resources that helps every step of the way, including choosing your neighborhood, I looked at their website and have the suspicion that this is targeted at students. Since postdocs are not students and some of us aren’t even BU employees, I don’t think this office will help. Their links about leases and tenant rights however are very useful and since those rights vary between states might be helpful to any postdoc new to Massachusetts.
What I am really missing in the guide book is some help towards finding short term accommodation, while postdocs are getting used to Boston. I would definitely have benefit from not signing a 12 months lease after just two weeks in Boston.