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North Dakota Leads In Housing Development

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The housing development numbers for North Dakota were given out last week with multiple counties scoring with high percent increases. Although that is the case, people around town are still waiting for housing.

For the third straight year, North Dakota developed housing at a faster rate than any other state in the nation. The state added over 10,000 new housing units last year with a lot of those coming locally.

“There's a constant flow of new subdivisions coming in. There's some of old ones that were approved a couple years ago. They are now kind of being resurrected in a sense because they got approved. Nothing new was done for two to three years, and now, they're coming back," says Ray Pacheco the Planning Director for Williams County.

Williams County was the number one county in the country because it added over 1,900 new housing units. Coming in second was Stark County with over 1,500 new units. And in fourth was Ward County with over 1,400 new units. Although these numbers are encouraging, many people are still dealing with housing problems.

“I'm working at a gas station almost with a hunting area and a gun store,” says Zach Haus an archery technician at Scenic Sports. “You’re not making quite as much, but you know the price of rent around here is very high compared to what I have in Culbertson, Mont.”

“I’m thinking of going back to Pennsylvania because I can't afford rent,” says Williston resident Varney Duneor. “The rent is too high to pay for a one bedroom apartment. It's like 1,400 to 1,500 a month.”

There are two new subdivisions in Williams County that have houses being built. One is Blackwood Estates off County Road 9 and the other is Windsong Country Estates off 60th St. Northwest. The only problem is many people have a hard time obtaining these new houses.

“The only way you can obtain a house in Williams County is if you work for a company and they give you the house,” says Duneor. “You can apply for a low income house, and if you qualify, maybe you will get a place."

Haus says it is going to take awhile for the all the housing developments to be built, but the prices will go down in a couple years.

Pacheco thinks the next step is people are going to try to buy more acres of land for their developments.

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