More and more people are calling Hobbs, New Mexico home but the city's growth has sparked a new problem. A lot of people are illegally living in RV's and hooking up utilities to homes. A lack of housing in Hobbs has many new residents turning to RV's. The city says a park like this one is the only legal and safe way to to live in them. Now they're cracking down on the people making neighborhoods unsafe with illegal use of RV's.
"We don't even allow temporary (living) on your property. They need to be placed in an RV park," said Art De La Cruz with Hobbs Code Enforcement.
"Illegal hookups with the RV's is very, very dangerous situation because most RV's are for temporary use and when you start using them for permanent use most of the time they are not hooked up to electricity properly," said Shawn Williams, the Hobbs Fire Marshall.
Those illegal set ups have been the cause behind several recent fires in the community. There have been three just in the last six months.
"An RV is ran with propane. So with the combination of propane and electricity, that's not a good mixture. That's an explosion waiting to happen," said Williams.
Code enforcement says even if utilities aren't hooked up to an RV it is still illegal to live in them outside of an RV park.
"Well public safety is one of our number one priorities and public safety is not just police and fire. It's actually going out there to make sure that our residents are living in adequate housing and safe housing. When you buy a home and live on a street you want other home owners on that street. You don't want people pulling up in an RV and renting out space to an RV for somebody to live in a driveway," said J.J. Murphy, City Manager of Hobbs.
As for a lack of housing options, the city manager says that will soon be a problem of the past.
"We'll have over 180 units on the ground in the next 12 months. We want to invest in more permanent housing in this community and we're going to continue to do so," said Murphy.
If you're concerned about someone illegally living in an RV in your neighborhood there is a hotline in Hobbs you can call. Just dial 311.