Housing Shortage in Monahans

By Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

It's easy to find a job in West Texas, but finding a place to live isn't so simple. 

The housing crunch has forced some people in Monahans to live on wheels.

"It's just part  of the oil field boom," Morse Haynes, Monahans Economic Development Director, said.

Like many other West Texas towns, housing is hard to come by. Homes in Monahans sell in a matter of days, and even the local hotels are full.

"This is a boom that probably 5-10 years ago we would have said, 'We'll never see another boom like we did in the 80's,' and now it's here," Haynes said.

But the workers need a place to hang their hat.

"You try to provide affordable housing, but due to the price of oil, the construction prices have gone up," Haynes said.

Many oil field employees are without a place to live, and they say, even if they could find a hotel or apartment it would still be too expensive.

"It's cheaper to take your RV with you if you set up there for about a month or so," Clint Dollery, a Monahans camper, said.

In the past year, two new RV parks have opened up in Monahans.

"That's my house, and I get to go home to it every single night," Dollery said.

Some oil companies are losing workers, because theres no place for them to live. Others provide campers for their employees.

"We're all needing housing," Haynes said. "Employees would move to town if more housing was available."

"After paying about $200-300 a week for a motel, and $400 a month for apartments, cruddy apartments, I got my first 5th wheel," Dollery said. "In the long run, you save money, you build equity in the RV."

They say it's the perfect solution for a life in the oil fields.

"If you want high class living, you travel this way," camper Henry Dollery, said.