Easing the housing crunch, step by stepThe housing crunch in the Oil Patch has been well-documented. Workers have camped in city parks, parked their trailers at Walmart and on city streets and filled man camps. It’s been a difficult situation for workers and local residents trying to accommodate them.
By: The Bismarck Tribune, The Jamestown Sun
The housing crunch in the Oil Patch has been well-documented.
Workers have camped in city parks, parked their trailers at Walmart and on city streets and filled man camps. It’s been a difficult situation for workers and local residents trying to accommodate them.
Oil workers aren’t the only ones struggling to find housing. Road construction crews coming into the Oil Patch have found temporary housing scarce.
Companies are working on new ways to address the problem.
Target Logistics has opened an extended-stay complex in a remodeled hotel in Stanley. The multi-story complex takes walk-ins for the night and for extended stays. Families are welcome.
According to Target Logistics, it’s a hotel with all the amenities.
And while all the buildings being constructed aren’t “hotels,” they offer more than a room.
Some companies are making temporary housing into permanent businesses.
Target Logistics builds with an anchor tenant. Capital Lodge puts up facilities with the idea that once they are constructed, business will come. And it has.
Both companies have experience around the world.
Target Logistics has been building temporary housing since 1978. Capital Lodge has experience on the Gulf Coast. And they aren’t the only companies creating housing in the Oil Patch.
A new hotel recently opened in Killdeer. It’s a new sight for the Dunn County community that has known only a one-story motel for many years.
Cities and counties have been scrambling to meet the housing needs. They have adjusted zoning ordinances and worked on financing packages.
It hasn’t been painless. Some entrepreneurs haven’t agreed with all the rules.
And it isn’t cheap staying in the Oil Patch. Target Logistics’ new hotel in Stanley costs $175 a night.
If companies continue to build and make changes to meet the area’s needs and if the workforce stabilizes, the days of campers and trailers on the street may pass.
We’re not there yet.
One only needs to visit campgrounds, parks and mobile home courts to realize many workers aren’t living in luxury.
In fact, too many are still living in sub-par conditions.
The oil boom was quicker and bigger than most expected. With the rapid growth in the sparsely populated area, it took time to adjust.
Some private developers and local entities were hesitant to act after previous booms had ended.
There’s no guarantee how long this boom will last, but predictions are for a long-lasting development cycle.
Progress on the housing front is methodically narrowing the gap and catching up with demand.
As a result, cobbled-together developments are slowly disappearing from the landscape as more restrictive city ordinances and zoning requirements combined with new construction take hold in the oil patch.
That in itself is a welcome development for workers and long-time residents alike.