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Old 05-30-2007, 08:23 AM
Location: VA
786 posts, read 4,319,092 times
Reputation: 1107



Many previously nice single family neighborhoods in Northern VA are going down hill fast due to houses being converted to apartments. People are buying the homes and converting them to flop houses for large groups of people who come from places where huge extended families are use to living together. In some cases as many as 30 people are living in homes designed for one small family. When the housing inspectors come they are scared away due to calls of racism.

Here is a good article on the crisis:

Overflowing Fairfax Homes Split Neighbors - washingtonpost.com

Our County Commission tell us we just have to adjust to this change and there is really nothing they can do as long as the new residents insist they are family. It is easier looking at the situation intellectually as part of a changing American culture, if it is not your next door neighbors.

This overcrowding is taking over many neighborhoods all over Northern VA and the number of complaints is skyrocketing. The worst areas are Herndon, Southern Fairfax County, Springfield, Annandale and Falls Church. It should be scary to people who own a house because you never know who will move in next door, an older couple or a family of 30 people with 15 cars.

Last edited by Dingler; 05-30-2007 at 09:28 AM..
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:34 AM
Location: Arlington, VA
260 posts, read 1,546,498 times
Reputation: 111
Over-hype much? This is nothing new, it's been going on for at least 20 years and not just in NoVA. It is very common in urban and suburban areas.
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Old 05-30-2007, 09:00 AM
Location: TX
3,029 posts, read 10,660,119 times
Reputation: 1362
more than 20 years...when my folks we looking to buy in Annadale in the early 1960's they looked a houses that had the basement set up with partitons etc...for multi-generational families.

Also the "western countires" US, Britain & CAnada mainly do have a cultural that is based upon Multi-generational families living together. Most eastern countries do. So for immigrant from that region to come here and get a "single family" house and have more than a "nuclear family unit" living in that house is norm for them.

30 people is over "hyping" it though.

The problem to me seems that it has changed form "EXTENDED family" ie grandparents, brothers etc... to all the young males form the same town (ok maybe 2nd &3rd cousins) are all living in 1 house and working to send money back home...both legally here and illgeally. Normal "extended family" houses don't have dead bolts on bedroom doors!

But...yes, It is an increasing problem for the entire region, especially with the inflated housing prices. ICE can't keep up with the immigrant overflow etc...
One person owns the house and move 6-10 of thier "cousins" in they are are working various jobs at various hours etc...It definately has an effect on the neighborhood. But trying to enfore the "codes" is no easy task.

So while I don't agree with your over zealous hate for NoVa, I do know that this is a problem and it's not getting any better with time.
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Old 05-30-2007, 10:10 AM
2,482 posts, read 8,045,756 times
Reputation: 1924
So my question is....so? You get what you pay for. If you move into a gated community with a fairly high priced house, chances are you'll get a nice neighborhood. If you are living on Average Avenue and sketchy-looking houses, then---uhm...duh?
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Old 05-30-2007, 10:51 AM
2,688 posts, read 5,960,659 times
Reputation: 1289
The law in Fairfax County is that a home occupied by a family [single person/couple/parent(s) and child(ren)] can rent to a limit of only two unrelated tenants. An absentee landlord can rent to up to four unrelated tenants (such as four college students or four young single adults). A "family" is defined as people related by blood, marriage, or adoption. Yes, that can be problematic for a large extended family, but for the large groups of single males sharing a household or multiple families sharing a home, the law can be enforced by calling (703) 324-1300 and giving the inspector the address. You must provide your name but the inspectors are prohibited from giving your name to the alleged violators.

And no, it does not go with the territory; no homes in Northern Virginia are inexpensive (and even if they were, so what?); people should respect the differences in other cultures but that does not mean surrendering the right to have reasonable zoning enforcement in their own neighborhoods.
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Old 05-30-2007, 11:48 AM
Location: Manchester Township, NJ
397 posts, read 1,065,220 times
Reputation: 196
Default Warnings Are Always Necessary

These landlords are breaking the law. In NJ several of them have been caught because the "apartments" soon became flophouses for illegals, drugs etc. I think the OP is wise to keep this issue up front. There are a lot of people who are not familiar with metro areas and naivete can prove to be pretty costly, and I'm not talking rent!
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Old 05-30-2007, 12:30 PM
429 posts, read 1,693,405 times
Reputation: 69
Isn't it against HOA and zoning to do this to a large extent?
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Old 05-30-2007, 12:49 PM
Location: Manchester Township, NJ
397 posts, read 1,065,220 times
Reputation: 196
Default Probably...

Originally Posted by tberg224 View Post
Isn't it against HOA and zoning to do this to a large extent?
No doubt it is but the old maxim "Thou shalt not get caught" applies.
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Old 05-30-2007, 01:49 PM
2,688 posts, read 5,960,659 times
Reputation: 1289
It is illegal, but it's important for neighbors to report the violations and if the laws are not being enforced, to put pressure on the County Supervisors to ensure that they are. In some cases the money that absentee landlords are collecting from rent is far more than the fines they have to pay.
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Old 07-29-2007, 05:34 PM
3,504 posts, read 7,942,290 times
Reputation: 3466
This is why you should avoid moving into certain areas of Sprinfield.
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