By Mary Gagliardi
Just last week an article was released that announced Williston as the city with the highest rent prices in the nation. While many were shocked, the Williston Economic Development department was not. They hope the national media coverage will draw attention to the situation and in turn, help prepare those who move to Williston to pursue the American dream.
“You keep hearing that Williston is this place for the American dream, and it can be. It really can be. But, the American dream is fulfilled by two things and those are hard work and preparation,” says Katie Long, Williston Economic Development.
This national attention will hopefully deter people from moving to Williston, without any housing preparation or research.
“Williston can obviously change your life, but you have to prepare before you come here. You can’t come on your last dime and expect to have a comfortable living situation here, it’s just not going to happen” says Shawn Wenko, Williston Economic Development.
“I think it’s through national media coverage like this that we may get people realizing that they may need another level of preparedness. You can’t just step off the bus, you can’t just hop off the train and you can’t roll in on fumes and expect to make it here,” says Long.
The Economic Development Department is also hopeful these revealing articles will grab the attention of the state.
“These numbers are real guys. It’s going to be a great reflection when we look at the state as a whole, for help in western North Dakota with some of the challenges that we are facing with infrastructure development, such as the high rents and the high cost of living. We are going to need some help to get over the hump,” says Wenko.
This process requires patience. It takes time for the city to build enough housing to catch up with the extensive growth Williston has experienced.