Permian Basin Residents Struggle with the Rising Cost of Living 02/18/14
February 18, 2014
Odessa - The cost of living in the Permian Basin is forcing more residents to settle with what they have, some are even moving in with other family members. According to the 2013 cost of living report, Odessa and Midland are both above the national average of housing and health care costs.
Our CBS 7 Facebook page had an outpouring of people respond about how they are coping. In fact, multiple said due to the rising costs they had to move back in with parents, others said they were forced to move from the area.
“The ridiculous cost of living here, it just seems like there’s no way out. It seems like you’re in a deep hole and you can’t get out of it,” said police officer Joey Ramirez.
Which are the feelings of many West Texans as they fight with the rising cost housing. For Ramirez, the struggle hits close to home. “My roommate was a fellow officer who is a good friend of mine, and of course the rent and utilities aren’t cheap these days so I had no other option but to move in with my parents.”
But it’s not just housing costs that the Permian Basin is seeing sky rocket, according to the cost of living report health care costs are also on the rise, especially in Odessa. Looking at the numbers released by the cost of living report, Odessa and Midland are both above the national average for housing costs and a great deal above our state’s capital costs. For Housing costs Odessa is 1.9% above national average and Midland is 2.1% above average, Austin however is 15.9% below national average.
“Now we do have a good economy and it may be affecting others like me as far as finding a place to live, but I think it’s really good that I’m fortunate enough to live in this area right now,” said Ramirez.
For Health care costs Midland is below the national average 6.4%, Odessa however is above the national average by 2%. Officials in Odessa say the increase is due to the unhealthy population in the area with many residents dealing with chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity.
On a positive note, the cost of living index also reports that in both Midland and Odessa the price for grocery items is below national average, sitting just above 87%.