Housing Crunch Not Only In Odessa and Midland

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

CRANE - We are constantly talking about the housing crunch in both Odessa and Midland, but little is talked about, surrounding communities, facing the same challenges. The county judge in Crane says, they have two major roadblocks in moving forward in building additional housing.

"Crane has no housing available at all right now," said Judge John Farmer.

It's no longer just Midland and Odessa that's facing a housing crunch. The overflow of people who can't find housing in Midland or Odessa, are finding their way to surrounding towns.  Crane apartments are filled to capacity, no houses are for rent, and the RV parks have been full for the past year.

"We just don't have anything to rent, lease or buy," said Judge Farmer

Judge Farmer said another problem causing the housing crunch in Crane is the lack of land that is available to them to build new housing. Most of the land is owned by Chevron, but that's not the only challenge Crane is facing.

"There's no contractors right now that are coming in to do it, there's just not. They don't need to, you know the travel time coming down they're all busy enough in Odessa and Midland that they don't need us right now," said Gena Norvell owner of Crane Realty.

A new RV parking lot is being built, its big enough to hold 20 RV's. Judge Farmer said, as soon as the electricity is hooked up they will begin to rent out the lots. He predicts they will go quickly.

"We will probably have it filled up within a week that we announce that it's ready. We have companies that have requested to be called when it's ready," said Judge Farmer.

Both Judge Farmer and Norvell agree that they have never seen their town booming as it currently is. The construction of a new hotel is set to begin in mid-July, but that doesn't stop Norvell from advising people to do their homework before moving to Crane.

"They need to call us and visit with us and know what's on the market not everything is on the Internet. The best thing they can do is call one of the agencies, I think calling us and visiting with us is about they best thing they can do, and the apartment buildings," said Norvell.