News & Resources

Due diligence needed for Merrimac Trail tenant screenings

Dec 04, 2011 Matt Roesly

An increase in the number of schoolchildren living in a stretch of apartments along Virginia's Merrimac Trail in Williamsburg has some officials worried about increased crime and drug use, the Virginia Gazette reports. More than half (45) of the 88 new city students attending the Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools this year live along the trail, the news source notes in a separate article. There are rising suspicions of multiple families living on the one-mile stretch that contains 692 apartments. "I know there's a lot (of) kids who live here, more than before," one anonymous resident told the news source. "I see them walking to the bus stop every morning." The falling prices of city apartments likely spurred the influx. City manager Jack Tuttle notes the apartments on the trail are the area's "most affordable housing." According to city data, the complexes have had more drug arrests and assaults than anywhere else in Williamsburg. However, an assistant manager at one of the complexes, Jess Vasquez, stresses that she performs criminal and credit checks as well as proper tenant background screenings prior to renting her units.