Solving the Housing Crisis,The Impact on Some Midlanders 2/21/13
CBS 7 News
February 21, 2013
MIDLAND- As the City of Midland attracts thousands with its low unemployment and high income per capita, it’s also forcing others out.
For Linda Lewis and others unable to find affordable housing, they may need to find another place to call home.
“I just don’t like the way I’m living,” said Lewis. “But I don’t have a choice.”
Lewis is one of many, unable to find an affordable place in her hometown.
But Midland City Council is looking for solutions.
Michael Trost, District 4 City Council representative said the biggest deterrent for developers is the length of time it takes to build a home, which in turn drives up the cost of housing.
“We have plenty of developers, and it seems like those who will build-- will build the higher-end homes,” said Trost. “And what we need is the middle and lower-end housing.”
Trost also said a lack of contractors drives up the values of homes, because developers need to hire contractors from out of the area.
Possible solutions include: shortening the developer’s review process, moving the process along for city code or even providing incentives like tax breaks for building in certain areas.
But for some, it may be too late.
“If I don’t find a place to live, I’ll have to move to Austin and live with my son,” said Lewis.
Lewis once had a job, but is now on disability and cannot find a place to live with her fixed income.
Carl Moore financially helps Lewis, through the Benevolence program at First Presbyterian, and others in need of help.
“People who’ve been Mainlanders-- they are simple people,” said Moore. “And they are finding it too difficult to stay in Midland. That’s sad.”
Until Council members can pursue these solutions further, people like Lewis will have to find ways to survive here, or go elsewhere.