By Wyatt Goolsby
VAN HORN - A housing crunch in Van Horn prompts the City Council to act. On Thursday, NewsWest 9 traveled to far West Texas to get a glimpse of what they're working on and why officals say it's critical to build soon.
"Housing has always been a problem in Van Horn to the point that the school district even built some of its own housing, so that they would have places to house some of the teachers that moved into town," City Administrator Rebecca Brewster explained.
Van Horn continues to face housing shortages like many West Texas towns, but after months of discussions, a plan is in place to build 44 new houses.
"We have plenty of opportunities for low income housing, but we do not have housing stock for people of moderate income," Brewster said.
She said that includes possible homes for teachers, border patrol officers, and for hospital employees.
"That will also help increase our tax base, of course, but also provides places that people would like to live nice new neighborhoods, nice new homes," Mayor Ben Flanagon said.
Just walking down Broadway and seeing all of the hotels and motels gives you a clue as to just how important tourism is for the City of Van Horn. However, as important as it is for people to stop in and spend the night, city officals said it's also important to improve roads and add houses, something critical for the long term economy.
"It's mostly the quality of life issue," Flanagan said. "It's nice to have people with skilled labor, but it's also nice to have people coming in that will open little shops, and little businesses that will move here and retire here."
Mayor Flanagan also said the City Council will continue to work on extending water and gas lines to the housing development. However, he said the bottom line is about helping to improve the town.
"We want to see things get better, and I think that has rubbed off," Flanagan explained. "I think a lot of people see that we are doing what we can, and I think a lot of people haved decided that they're going to help, and also help us to make sure we make the town a nicer place to live."