By: Sarah Snyder
A new think tank has folks from all over West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico in on the mission. Large and small communities have come together hoping to finding an answer to the area's housing crunch.
"We don't have too much housing now, especially in the smaller towns," Arleene Loyd, with Odessa Economic Development, said.
The Odessa Chamber of Commerce says it's tough bringing in workers when there's no place for them to live.
"We really feel like housing is critical," Loyd said. "Particularly workforce housing."
So the Odessa Chamber has put together a task force sharing federal and state resources to build houses in the $90,000-130,000 price range. It's made up of builders, realtors, and economic development offices from just about every community in West Texas and parts of Southeastern New Mexico.
"It takes everybody," Loyd said. "Nobody is doing this by themselves. It's everybody's problem and we want everybody to be a part of the solution."
Monahans says their workers have been staying in motels and RV parks until they can find a home.
"We've had quite a few people move to town, and that just seems to be the type of housing we need in Monahans," Morse Haynes with Monahans Economic Development, said.
There's about ten lots in Monahans that already have the water and sewer lines in place, all that's needed is affordable housing to sit on it. The Economic Development Office is using the task force to figure out how to get started.
"By getting everybody together, it was very benefitial to see what other towns have done and maybe put a solution together," Haynes said.
The Texas Workforce Commission provided a grant to get the Permian Basin Housing Task Force going. Their first meeting was in November and they plan to meet again this month.
"We really want to be as prudent as possible," Loyd said. "Put our best foot forward, find all the resources that there are so that we can create workforce housing when people do want to move here and companies do want to build here."