Gillette, WY – How hard is it to find an apartment in
Gillette these days? At Mountain View Apartments, manager Kim McCuin has stopped taking names for the waiting list, which already is an estimated three months long.
The booming energy economy is bringing hundreds of new people to Gillette and cities like it. And that can be a good thing.
But there is a downside, as well, including a tremendous crush for housing.
Just a year and a half ago, a city survey found about two percent of apartments were turning over in Gillette. That's a low turnover. But now, turnover is virtually nil -- a mere one one-hundredth of one percent.
As a result, prices are going up. Rent for a two-bedroom apartment averaged 611-dollars per month at the end of 2005, up more than ten percent from the year before.
A similar drop in mobile home park vacancies has boosted those rents, as well.
Now city officials are working on finding ways to provide low-cost housing for the hundreds of workers who will be needed for the region's coal mines, gas fields and power plants in the coming years.