Employers Dealing With Housing Crunch, New Projects On the Way

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Plenty of jobs but nowhere to stay. It's an ongoing problem that's hitting the Basin as the oil boom continues to grow.

It's something many of you are experiencing first hand, but even with the new apartments and housing going up, it's not a quick fix.

"Nobody's got this silver bullet, magic wand that we can wave and presto change-o we've got houses and apartments in Midland," Steve Thorpe, with City of Midland Code Enforcement, said.

But it sure would be nice if it were that easy.

It's no secret housing is hard to come by just about anywhere in the Permian Basin and employers are seeing it firsthand.

"It's becoming a challenge for those new recruits, especially if they're coming from out of town, to find not only housing they can get but housing they can afford," Russell Meyers, CEO of Midland Memorial Hospital, said.

Meyers said they're constantly looking for places to house new employees.

"We kinda have our name on a waiting list and we're trying to be ready to grab one as soon as it becomes available," Meyers said.

Thorpe said new projects are on the way.

"A new 96-unit apartment complex that's on I-20 just east of Terrell," Thorpe said. "We have plans for a 210-unit apartment complex at Claydesta."

Another development is in the works, this one in downtown Midland.

It's a 70-plus unit complex called The Brownstones.

However, Thorpe said it takes several months, even a year or more to develop new housing. Plus, there's another issue.

"Unfortunately we don't have enough construction workers in Midland right now so a lot of the projects are being manned from people outside of the area," Thorpe said.

The folks at the hospital tried getting temporary housing on their West campus.

"It didn't work well on the site," Meyers said. "It would've been very temporary that the city wasn't willing to permit a residential development at that location which is understandable."

So for the meantime, they're being resourceful.

"We have employees who have rental properties or rooms to rent," Meyers said. "We have new employees who are looking at rooming together. It clearly is an issue for us, one that we're still trying to resolve."