Residents Getting Creative in Finding a Place to Live

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Continuing coverage on the extreme measures people are taking to deal with the housing crunch in West Texas. On Thursday night, NewsWest 9 told you about a group of Odessa residents living in storage units because there was no where else to live.

After our story aired, a lot of you took to our Facebook page, wanting to know more about this story. One of the big questions many of you asked. Is it legal to rent out storage units as living quarters?

"It's up to the business, what they do with their business and their property," Andrea Quiroz, Executive Director with the Homeless Coalition, said.

The owner of the storage units is charging James and Regina Germany $70 a month to live in a storage unit. If you thought living in a 10 by 20 storage unit was extreme, imagine living among a large area of trash and brush.

That's a reality for Pete Salinas.

"Where are the houses? You know bring your house with you because there's no houses," Salinas said.

Salinas has been living in a field behind a Burger King in Midland since January. Currently, he doesn't have a steady job. But when he did have a job, he couldn't find a place to live due to the housing shortage.

"They're not available right now and you know. I mean anywhere, I've been to an RV park and they tell you, get in line, get in line," Salinas said.

Quiroz says people are having to be creative in finding a place to live. That's why it's so important for people to do their homework before they move to Midland or Odessa.

"There's a lot of people moving here not doing their research and finding out there is no housing and it's hard for you to get a job when you have no place to go home or a place, a shelter to change clothes and get ready to go find a job," Salinas said.

Quiroz says even if they wanted to help, their hands are tied up.

"One, there is no funding for the agencies to be able provide programs to help out. Two, even if we do (have funding) there isn't housing or hotel to be able to refer them to, or house them to help them out of that situation. So right now, everybody is at a standstill," Quiroz said.