Monday, May 09, 2005

Making room for everyone
Immigrants squeezed between need for housing, occupancy codes

Mystery Reader sent this link to a story about what is probably going to be a common situation:

...on July 8, 2003, when the family of four had barely settled into the two-bedroom townhouse in west suburban Villa Park, a letter arrived from the homeowners association saying local codes would allow only three people to live in the townhouse. According to the DuPage County codes that cover the unincorporated neighborhood the Moras had moved into, the townhouse's small second bedroom could accommodate just one person, not the couple's two sons. When the Moras unwittingly ran afoul of the local occupancy code, they got caught in a bind that housing experts say is increasingly common for immigrants in the Chicago area. Struggling to afford housing, they may put more people in one home than codes designed to protect health and safety will allow. And when municipal code-enforcement officers point that out, something's got to give.

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