Oil boom raises rents in ND, pushes seniors out

By

Published:

 

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) -- The oil boom in North Dakota is having an unintended effect on seniors: Many are being forced to move away because they can longer afford their monthly rent.

The influx of thousands of oil workers has created a severe housing shortage across the western part of the state. The result is that some rents now match or exceed prices in the nation's largest cities, with modest two-bedroom apartments commonly going for as much as $2,000.

It's an irony of the area's economic success: The same booming development that made North Dakota virtually immune to the Great Recession has forced many longtime residents to abandon their homes, including seniors who carved small towns out of the unforgiving prairie long before oil money arrived.