Boom Town Housing Shortage Reaches RV Parks
It's an odd problem in this tough economy. A part of New Mexico has plenty of jobs, but not enough places for people to live.
Now, city officials in Hobbs are getting more aggressive to address the issue, by approving more housing projects and offering developers incentives, KRQE-TV, Albuquerque, N.M., reported.
Apartment complexes, neighborhoods, no matter where you look, finding a place to live in Hobbs isn't easy.
"We feel like we could probably absorb about 3,000 housing units in Hobbs and the immediate area around Hobbs, pretty quickly," Hobbs Mayor Sam Cobb said.
Hobbs is the No. 1 oil producer in the state, and right now business is booming . The city is trying to keep up with the influx in people.
Several potential renters in Hobbs are put on waiting lists for houses, apartments and even RV parks. Right now there's at least 20 people waiting in line to get a slot at the Eagle RV Park.
"It's pretty steady, we get probably 10 to 15 calls a day," said Richard Buss, the RV park's office manager. "They're all looking for spots that are available."
Each slot at the Eagle RV Park has been taken. Nearly all residents came to Hobbs for work, whether it be at local businesses or the oil fields.
"We've had quite a few that have moved here and stayed in the RV park until something came open," Buss added.
Hobbs is offering incentives to developers to build there. They're also offering relocation incentives for workers, such as first responders and police officers.
Currently Hobbs has a population of about 43,000 people. Cobb said one of his goals is to get the population up to 50,000 before 2020 to attract even more business to the area.
Many people who do work in Hobbs and can't find a place to live end up staying in surrounding areas like Artesia and across the state line in Seminole, Texas. Some even commute as far away as Roswell.