Oil Boom Creates other Gushers

Following up on a story we published Oct 21, 2011, about the oil boom and subsequent housing shortage in Williston, ND, ArgusLeader reports neighboring South Dakota is reaping benefits from the black gold rush driving the economy. Custom Touch Homes in Madison and Superior Homes in Watertown have contracts to deliver modular homes to Williston. North Dakota’s unemployment numbers in Sept. were 3.5 percent; Williston’s is one percent. Tom Rolfstad, executive director of Williston Economic Development, says subdivisions being built will provide 3,000 housing units, but that will not be enough. “Were going to be behind the curve for the next couple of years,” Rolfstad said. “We have way more than our share of people who are sleeping in their cars and their trucks.” Custom Touch has added 45 of its 75 workers since 2007, building 60 homes for the Williston area this year, with plans for 100 homes 2012. Superior Homes recently finished a 60 module, modular housing unit to house 450 people. Superior Homes CEO Allen Gordon says it has a community laundry, suites, and a commercial kitchen much like a hotel. They have built a dozen single-family homes this year and intend to build 100 next year. He says his work force has doubled to 170 workers, working seven days, and has added another shift. The oil companies have plans to drill thousands more wells in coming years, which will maintain the demand for factory-built housing.

(Photo credit: Jay Pickthorn/ArgusLeader)

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