Overcrowding investigation into foreign exchange student housing in Virginia Beach

Posted at 5:40 PM, Jul 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-13 18:31:38-04
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Foreign exchange students are living in crowded and cramped conditions in housing units in Virginia Beach, according to the students who live there.
Virginia Beach code enforcement said they have evidence of overcrowding inside a house with several units that hold foreign exchange students during the summer months.
The property is located on the 400 block of 24th Street. Code enforcement said they were told there were 40 people are living at the location, but they could not confirm that number.
The property manager said there were some issues and violations but he's working with the city to fix the problems.
Some students told News 3 they don't know where they're going to live. One woman called her living conditions in the home horrible.
The students came to Virginia Beach to experience life in America and work in hotels and various other places near the Oceanfront.
"I think it's horrible," said one woman, who didn't want to be identified. She said 12 men and women share one bathroom with no doors.
Police said they were called to assist code enforcement on Tuesday.
Several students told News 3 there are sometimes six people living in one bedroom.
The property manager would only identify himself as "Jim."  He showed us a list of about 27 maintenance items that need to be fixed. He said he is working with the city.
"It's not acceptable and the city requests to correct it and we are," said the property manager.
He said the students pay $80 per week to staying home. He admits there were too many young people in the various units. He said he didn't realize he was in violation.
He said, "The students are taken care of, they are well taken care of."
But some of the people living there do not agree.
One woman said, "Everywhere is dirty."
Resident Jahi Kadriji said he and his roommates don't mind the close quarters.
"I think that we have to move from here in one week, so we have to find something else," said Kadriji.
The exchange students News 3 spoke to are from places all over the world like Taiwan, Siberia, China and Russia.
Code enforcement said the house is not condemned and no one has been forced to move out yet. The property manager said they did not receive any citations.
He said they are trying to find other accommodations for the students.
Several of the students told said they are worried because they do not know where they're going to live.

Code enforcement is currently working to figure out what type of violations have occurred.