Lots of Jobs, But No Housing for Workers

North Dakota is undergoing a jobs boom right now, but it doesn't have the housing stock to match the new increase in workers.
April 21, 2010, 1pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"The same forces that have resulted in more homelessness elsewhere - unemployment, foreclosure, economic misery - have pushed laid off workers from California, Florida, Minnesota, Michigan and Wyoming to abundant jobs here, especially in the booming oil fields.

But in this city rising from the long empty stretches of North Dakota, hundreds are sleeping in their cars or living in motel rooms, pup tents and tiny campers meant for weekend getaways in warmer climes. They are staying on cots in offices and in sleeping bags in the concrete basements of people they barely know."

The booming industry in North Dakota has crammed hotels to capacity and caused some workers to simply sleep in their cars in Wal-Mart parking lots. Homelessness is not really a big issue in the state, but it has seen a 19% increase from 2008 to 2009.

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Published on Tuesday, April 20, 2010 in The New York Times
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