Housing Complex

New MoCo Rule: You Can’t Live With Your 15 Closest Friends Anymore

Earlier this week, I wrote about how couch-crashers, happily married couples, and adults living in their parents' basements were harming America's housing market.

What about the less PC example of groups of illegal immigrants packing into single family homes? 

My original post was about how Americans aren't starting new "households," meaning they're not buying or occupying new homes. 

In Montgomery County, cracking down on overcrowding could affect that.  

Complaints against overcrowding, often citing homes with alleged illegal immigrants, have more than tripled from 2004 to 2008, according to the Washington Examiner.  

People complained about excessive parking on the streets and falling property values. According to the story, "adults in overcrowded houses can easily skirt county zoning rules that prohibit more than five unrelated people to live in a single home simply by saying that they are all related."

To combat that problem, "staff members suggested the county mirror Virginia's zoning rules, and require a minimum of 300 square feet per adult for the first 1,200 square feet of a house and 500 square feet thereafter." 

The change is currently under consideration by county officials.

Image by Quinn.Anya, Flickr Creative Commons

  • Dr. Van Helsing

    The District of Columbia should address overcrowding in housing/apartments too. How can 6 people live in an efficiency or 1 bedroom apartment? The are as many as 15 people living in houses in the District of Columbia. There are sanitary issues involved.

  • Mrs. D

    That seems a little extreme. My very first cohabitated place with the DH (not so H-y then) was only 480 sq. ft. and fit our broke just-out-of-college selves just fine. Even now, we BARELY meet that minimum living in a just over 600 sq. ft. apartment. Of course, this is not what the rule was intended to address, but it will end up hitting - mostly young - cohabitators pretty hard.

    DC does have rules about minimum square feet per occupant, but they are pretty sparse. DC also has rules about # of people per unit size (efficiency, 1 bed, etc.). However, given the number of unlicensed rentals in the city, the rules don't get enforced that well. The landlord can threaten to kick people out for over-occupation all they want, but without a rental permit they're just setting themselves up for a lawsuit...

  • Jesse Helms

    We all know, it's illegal aliens living in apartments and houses in the D.C. area bringing down property values and living like animals.

  • jma

    Whoaaa Jesse! Living like animals? Really now? I guess you have not put yourself in these people's situation. They left a country for a better living...wouldn't you do the same? And sorry, but working a less then minimum wage job is not going to pay for a nice studio....no you need several ppl pitching in. Think first.....these people don't want to live like this. But they do the best they can.

  • Jesse Helms

    Jma, this doesn't give them the right to disregard U.S. laws by living as if they are still in El Salvador/Central America, Mexico, etc. with their bad living habits. Most of these people from these third world countries are lacking class and culture. Many are illiterate in their native Spanish. Many of these people shit and piss in their yards or in public and they apartments or houses are filthy. There are sanitary issues involved with large groups of people living in an efficiently/studio apartment and many of the conditions they live in are unsanitary. Tuberculoses, leprosy, Swine Flu, and other diseases are on the rise in the United States thanks to the influx of illegal aliens crossing our porous borders without being check medically for contagious diseases that could harm or kill U.S. citizens. I am truly sorry for the poverty in their countries, but it's not the responsibility of the U.S. Government to provide for other countries poor citizens. We have you been lately Jma? Haven't you heard, the U.S. economy has gone to hell and many U.S. citizens have lost their jobs. Many U.S. citizens are struggling to feed and support their families. I don't see El Salvador or Mexico offering to help U.S. citizens. At the rate the U.S. economy is going downhill, I predict the United States will become a third world country soon. Hopefully, all these third world people from other countries will go home and take their bad living habits with them. Yes, we have some U.S. citizens with bad living habits, but this is their country and they can't be deported. If I had my power, I would deport U.S. citizens with bad living habits and bad criminal behavior to El Salvador or Mexico. These two countries own us a favor, because we have the majority of their poorest uneducated citizens living in the United States.

  • Jesse Helms

    Jma, this doesn't give them the right to disregard U.S. laws by living as if they are still in El Salvador/Central America, Mexico, etc. with their bad living habits. Most of these people from these third world countries are lacking class and culture. Many are illiterate in their native Spanish. Many of these people shit and piss in their yards or in public and their apartments or houses are filthy. There are sanitary issues involved with large groups of people living in an efficiently/studio apartment and many of the conditions they live in are unsanitary. Tuberculoses, leprosy, Swine Flu, and other diseases are on the rise in the United States thanks to the influx of illegal aliens crossing our porous borders without being check medically for contagious diseases that could harm or kill U.S. citizens. I am truly sorry for the poverty in their countries, but it’s not the responsibility of the U.S. Government to provide for other countries poor citizens. Where have you been lately Jma? Haven't you heard, the U.S. economy has gone to hell and many U.S. citizens are losing their jobs? U.S. citizens are struggling to feed and support their families. I don't see El Salvador or Mexico offering to help U.S. citizens. At the rate the U.S. economy is going downhill, I predict the United States will become a third world country soon. Hopefully, all these third world people from other countries will go home and take their bad living habits with them. Yes, we have some U.S. citizens who have bad living habits too, but this is their country and they can't be deported. If I had my power, I would deport U.S. citizens with bad living habits and bad criminal behavior to El Salvador or Mexico. These two countries owe us a favor, because we have the majority of their poorest uneducated citizens living in the United States destroying it with their bad behavior and living habits. I am sorry for not being politically correct, but most U.S. citizens are thinking what I'm writing.

  • Jesse Helms

    I hope some of these Central Americans/Salvadorans, Dominicans, South Americans, Mexicans, Ethiopians, etc. are reading what's been said about them on these blogs. Maybe they will start to keep their homes/apartments clean and neat and stop the third world behavior they bring with them to the U.S. from their countries. We have local municipal and quality of life laws in this country and they need to abide by them.

  • D

    Despite the racists who frequent these topics, I was witness to a million dollar house that went down hill drastically due to public drinking and littering by the owner's construction company employees. We're talking parking on the lawn, leaving 4 flatbed trucks on the street blocking all the neighbor's yards, eating breakfast and leaving McDonald's bags on the neighbor's yards. I mean, in a wealthy neighborhood who in their right mind leaves bags of trash on their neighbor's yards? Immigrant construction workers.

    I don't have a solution and trust me, I'm not blaming one race here, but this is totally out of control in the suburbs and the laws must be enforced.

  • CmorButts

    THIS COUNTRY WAS BUILT OFF INMIGRATION...THE EARLY SETTLERS IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN MIGRATED FOR WHAT..."A BETTER LIVING" OR AT LEAST THATS WHAT THE BS AMERICAN "HIS-STORY" BOOKS TELL US. AFRICANS AND MEXICANS HAVE POURED BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS ALL OVER THIS AMERIKKAN SOIL BUILDING IT UP BY HAND AND DON'T RECEIVE ANY RECOGNITION OR ACCOLADES FOR THESE MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS THAT OTHERS PROFIT AND FLOURISH OFF OF... IT'S A DAMN SHAME

  • WARD4NDC

    CmorButts, this issue really doesn't have anything to do with immigration. It's about living habits and keeping one's apartment or house clean. People should know before coming to this country, they must abide by all the laws of the United States. It's very unsanitary for large groups of people to be living in a studio, room, one bedroom apartment, or in a house. You cannot have chickens in your yard, play loud music, and have trash and cars parked all on your front yard. I have seen Central Americans shit and piss in the apartment building where I live in Northwest D.C. They use to throw trash and water out of windows down into the Alley.

    I welcome anyone in my neighborhood, but I prefer residents who are clean, civic minded, and take pride in their living surroundings. I agree with Jesse Helms, many of the Salvadorans/Central Americans, Mexicans, etc. coming to the United States and moving into many of our middle class neighborhoods black or white have destroyed them by their third world living habits. Most these people are illiterate and poor, but this gives them no excuse to live like pigs by shitting and pissing in public and destroying neighborhoods with their third world customs. As I see it, the United States is going to "hell" in a handbasket. We are becoming a third world country daily.

  • Q

    Ruth, I agree with the ordinances, but as some of the bloggers suggested, enforcing it is a little dicey. I wish Montgomery County Success in this, but other local jurisdictions haven't been that successful. I wonder how this is managed in New York (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Harlem, Long Island, Bed-Sty, etc.). This is not to say it can't or hasn't been done, but one would think that in the town of Ms. Liberty, they would know how to enforce this.

    Sometimes these living arrangements are just that, TEMPORARY arrangements. Transient folks know how to move their possessions from house/apartment/condo/etc. when the enforcement truck comes.

    Ruth, in your earnest you wrote a mostly objective article about overcrowding. It's a shame that some bloggers would turn it into race-baiting and stereotypes. If it isn't the illegals, its the Section-8 recipients, or the Asians, or the Africans, or the College Kids, or the ... you get the picture. The problem with "over crowding" is mainly a human behavior one. Some of us from older generations lived in houses with siblings, parents, grandparents, and the occasional aunt or uncle. Imagine Joe and Katherine Jackson's house before the Jackson 5 made it big? I'm sure that living arrangement would violate the housing occupancy code...but they turned out all right, didn't they? :)

    Anyways, while hygenic facilities come into play, the human behavior part is the main reason for such ordinances. Unfortunately, the more people that congregate in one place the greater the probability of bad behavior...even in churches.

    Good article. An update to this truly would be to challenge Montgomery County to find affordable housing for all these occupancy violators. Moving them to PG County isn't a solution either.

  • http://citypaper Derski

    "Q" Good responds but The name is Prince George's County NOT PG. You don't call Montgomery County Mt or My or anything else other than Montgomery County. Please enough with the Acyromyms and Abbreviations. Thanks

  • Mookie

    Derski- the title of this here post says MoCo. What a strange thing to get upset about.

  • Nupe

    Q, well let all the illegal aliens come live in your dam neighborhood and destroy it with 20 to 30 people in a house with cars parked all up on their front yard or curb. What are you talking about, these local laws on the books can be enforced? Prince William, Virginia is a good example. These liberal politicians like D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, and Princes Georges County Executive Jack Johnson have turned a blind eye to this serious crisis by being political correct. Look at the shape this country is now in and many U.S. citizens are out of work and get provide for their families. You and others had better wake up soon, because there's going to be a "Civil War" in the United States. People are fed up with seeing this type of shit in their neighborhoods. I am a native New Yorker and this is why NYC has gone to hell. Most can't afford to live in Manhattan, because it's too expensive. Manhattan is now the borough of the wealthy.

  • Nupe

    Correction:

    Q, well let all the illegal aliens come live in your dam neighborhood and destroy it with 20 to 30 people in a house with cars parked all up on their front yard or curb. What are you talking about, these local laws on the books can be enforced? Prince William County, Virginia is a good example. These liberal politicians like D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, and Prince Georges County Executive Jack Johnson have turned a blind eye to this serious crisis by being political correct. Look at the shape this country is now in and many U.S. citizens are out of work and can't provide for their families. You and others had better wake up soon, because there’s going to be a “Civil War” in the United States. People are fed up with seeing this type of shit in their neighborhoods. I am a native New Yorker and this is why NYC has gone to hell. Most can’t afford to live in Manhattan, because it’s too expensive. Manhattan is now the borough for the rich/wealthy.

  • Q

    Nupe, I understand where you are coming from but the only commonality in Ike Leggett, Adrian Fenty, and Jack Johnson is RACE. So you are saying that African-American Executive Politicians are reluctant to enforce occupancy laws?

  • Nupe

    Q, I never thought about their race. I was looking at all 3 being liberal/progressive Democrats. Democrats believe in political correctness and they support illegal immigration. Washington, D.C. is a sanctury city to illegal aliens and the Metropolitan Police Department is forbidden to ask the immigration status of criminals who they believe are in the country illegally. The answer to your question, yes these Democratic liberal left wing politicans will not enforce occupancy laws. I personally have had a conversation with Fenty on this issue and he said, we are all immigrants. I wanted to tell him to go to hell, because my ancestors weren't immigrants, but were slaves brought him by force. Many of these people are leaving El Salvador/Central America, Dominican Republic, Ireland, Mexico, Nigeria, and South America by choice.

  • Nupe

    Q, forgive me if I seem upset. I am upset, but I am not angry at you. I live in this shit daily in upper northwest near Walter Reed. I have seen my middle class black neighborhood turn into a Salvadoran barrio. Many Salvadorans/Mexicans are racist against blacks or Afro Latinos before coming to the U.S. They see themselves as white based on their skin color and hair texture.

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