The biggest criticism of western North Dakota’s population boom is its lack of permanent residents. However, recently, more and more oil workers are bringing their families along to live in North Dakota with them. The Forum News Service reported that a quarter of Dickinson’s Sierra Ridge Apartment Homes’ rentals are from a company that is holding the housing for its employees. Affordable housing or rent subsidies are huge perks to prospective oil and gas industry employees in the area. The recent surge of workers relocating to the state has caused the western area of North Dakota to face a housing crisis with inflated rent prices and a lack of infrastructure to support its burgeoning population.
Area schools are also seeing more children coming into the system who have moved to North Dakota in order to be with a parent that has already been working in the state. Various rental companies have stated that the workers begin in an apartment and then move to a townhome. Now more and more families are purchasing permanent housing in the area.
According to the Forum News Service article describing the phenomenon, Gaylon Baker, the vice president of the Stark Development Corporation said, “Sure enough, it’s usually a case where the breadwinner of the family has been here a while, maybe not that long, but has decided that, ‘Hey this is some place that we can really hang our hat.”