PEARSALL, Texas -- Pearsall is experiencing some growing pains, and it's affecting low income families looking for affordable housing.
The economy is getting a boost from the oil companies fracking in the Eagle Ford shale. The huge drilling project has brought thousands of oil field workers who need temporary housing.
Pearsall Housing Authority Director Norman Martinez says the business is great news for the local economy, but that property owners are canceling contracts to provide Section 8 housing, because oil field workers are paying them more for rent, as much as two to three times more than HUD tenants.
It's a problem that has spilled over from Cotulla, Carrizo Springs, Dilley, and Crystal City. Housing directors in those areas are teaming up with the Martinez to find a solution. They recently met at the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) office in San Antonio to petition government leaders in Washington to help find a solution.
Jose Lopez, the Crystal City executive director of housing, says the problem could increase even more if local housing officials don't get help from HUD. Lopez believes HUD could ease some of the restrictions for rating housing or give the communities affected more financial assistance to compete with oil companies that are driving up the cost of rent.
Arnold Garcia says it's a simple case of supply and demand.
"We knew the oil boom was coming. I personally had no idea of the magnitude of it," Garcia said.
The housing directors say the low income clients they assist generally have an average income between $8,000 and $12,000, making it tough for them to pay more for rent.