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Some Residents Living in Storage Units Due to Rising Cost of Rent

There's no doubt about it, there is a serious housing crunch in the Basin because of the oil boom. Now some families are being forced to take drastic measures.
By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - There's no doubt about it, there is a serious housing crunch in the Basin because of the oil boom. Now some families are being forced to take drastic measures.

For people living on a set income, the rising rent is too much too handle. Instead of living in an apartment or house, imagine if "home sweet home" was a storage unit. For some families in Odessa they are literally taking up shop in storage units because they can't afford to live anywhere else.

"You're not suppose to stay in storage units, but we didn't have a choice," James Germany, who is currently living in a storage unit, said..

Imagine living in a 10 by 20 room and calling it your home. For the past three months James Germany and his wife Regina, have been living in an Odessa storage unit. According to James, when he couldn't find a place to live he had to take extreme measures.

"I rented this storage unit once before so when they threw us I put all the stuff in the unit. When I couldn't find a place to stay, I put us here too," Germany said.

He says he and wife pay 70 dollars a month to live here. James keeps the unit cool by using his own form of air conditioning. The couple has a microwave and even a television, but there's one important thing they're missing, running water.

"I go over to my sister's house to shower. I go to the bowling alley to use the bathroom," Germany said.

Both James and Regina are disabled. Combined, the couple gets around $900.00 dollars a month. Even if they could afford a home, there are none available right now.

"We went to Third Edition, Landmark and those go by your income in order to get in, but they  got a hell of a line too," Germany said.

James and Regina aren't the only ones who are resorting to this way of living. James says about a dozen others also live in a storage unit. For James, this is a temporary fix for what he hopes is a temporary problem.

"I am hoping end of this month, I am hoping be gone from here, but I am wishing that each month. All I wanna do is be gone, I wanna have a bathroom and I wanna have a kitchen," Germany said.