Increase in jobs leads to affordable housing shortage in Dumas

Increase in jobs leads to affordable housing shortage in Dumas
Housing in Dumas (Source: KFDA)
Dumas Economic Development Corporation (Source: KFDA)
Dumas Economic Development Corporation (Source: KFDA)
Housing in Dumas (Source: KFDA)
Housing in Dumas (Source: KFDA)
Housing in Dumas (Source: KFDA)
Housing in Dumas (Source: KFDA)
Dumas is teeming with new residents.
From industries recruiting more employees to businesses taking root in the city, Dumas is a hot spot for new jobs and people.

"There's an exponential effect that takes place when you bring in new jobs or create new jobs. You also have the need for additional outside jobs, said Mike Running, Executive Director of the Dumas Economic Development Corporation.

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However, all of these people need somewhere to live. In Dumas, that's a commodity becoming harder to come by.

As those numbers increased over the last several years, the housing hasn't kept pace, said Running.

Running says that while Dumas has a history of limited affordable options, there is a shortage in housing across the board, from rental units to higher-end homes.

It's not just the affordable housing that we're hurting, it's all levels, said Running.

The Dumas mayor says that available housing is a major factor that businesses look at before bringing work to the city.

"If you have businesses that are looking at to come to Dumas, that's one of the priorities they look at, said Pat Sims, Mayor of Dumas.

One of the companies Dumas Economic Development Corporation has been working with is the Texas Northwestern Railway.

"We've been helping them recruit businesses in. Some of those businesses are looking at 20 to 30 new jobs, said Running. As those jobs come in, Texas Northwest has to hire on more people and expand their operations."

A company with a different approach to housing is the Dumas Independent School District, which provides a list of housing resources to new employees, and notes that new employees have not reported trouble finding somewhere to live.

"We have a list of realtors and then people in our community who have rental properties, and we try to get our new employees hooked up with one of those people on the list, said Phil Guerra, the Assistant Superintendent for Personnel for the Dumas Independent School District.

In an effort to solve the problem, Running hopes developers will see the opportunities for growth and housing in the Dumas area.

"Our hope is that when people see the demand for housing here, some regional developers or even national developers for that matter will catch wind and look at the opportunities to build new housing, said Running.

The lack of affordable housing was a major feature of the last board meeting for the Dumas Economic Development Corporation. The next meeting is scheduled for Mar. 19 at 12:00 p.m.

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