In West Texas there is a crisis going on, but before I get to that, I have told my sons we have to find ways to conserve on electricity around here. I get emails on the usage and this month’s electric bill is already sitting at $197.00. I think someone is gouging…Sorry. Every time there is an oil boom the price of everything goes sky-high.
In Midland, TX there are families that have jobs making $35K a year living in tents and on the streets because when the oil field workers began to arrive, landlords raised the rents up astronomically. I can’t believe the Attorney General hasn’t stepped on some toes here over it. The motels all went up to $189+ per night–and even Motel 6 has jacked up their rates in the area. The hotels are also trying to charge a “county tax” which is ILLEGAL. There IS NO SUCH TAX. The taxes they pay are to be included in their prices–otherwise they are breaking the law. They are stealing–pure and simple. Whether due to a disaster or a boom, it is price gouging. The electric company is doing the same thing. They say the price of oil is the reason that goes up…I don’t buy it. It never happens until there is being money pumped into a place.
These people pushing families into the streets to make an extra buck need to be addressed. Half of the landlords do not even repair housing and such and scoff at their tenants who need something as simple as a water heater fixed. They are getting away with this behavior because they are being ALLOWED to get away with it and if the City of Midland isn’t going to do something about it, then the Attorney General’s office should be–as well as the Texas Board of Realtors. I am waiting for the first class action suit to hit the fan out here. It will eventually happen. Even many of the oil field workers cannot afford the rent so there are FEMA trailers being brought into the yards they go out to work from for them to stay in.
This is NOT California and Midland is NOT New York City. In those two places the fees are genuine and pertain to the cost of living there. That is not the case here. It is all an artificial increase. It’s time for the people to stand up and address these con artists and thieves for what they are. If necessary, rent controls need to be put into place via the powers that be in Austin since the City of Midland is not addressing this–and neither is the county. There is no reason why these families should be on the street–many of them losing their apartments and such after being faithful tenants for years and are INELIGIBLE for any type of help because they are WORKING…Where is the outrage? Where is the call for justice? If there ever was a justification for the mantra of “social justice” permeating the air–it lies in Midland, Texas. Better yet, where in the bloody hell is the media at?
I am not a Democrat or Republican and this is not a political brownie point plank for some politician to jump on. The problem needs to be addressed and fixed NOW. Winter is coming. By then these families should be either back in their apartments that were WRONGFULLY taken from them at the rents they had before, or there should be suitable housing provided. If nothing else FEMA should come in and build mobile home parks because this is an emergency…
Natural disasters aren’t the only problem plaguing this state and/or nation. Greed is another one right now–especially here. Shame on these people who are doing this! I do not think it is only happening here. I think other places experiencing a boom are going through the same thing–but SOMEONE needs investigate this and strongly address it. Only ONE news channel has covered this so far that I know of, and that was Channel 7. Shame on the media…They are too busy talking about politics and such to address the issues that really do matter. There is a huge responsibility for journalists to cover such things and they aren’t (for the most part)…Shame on them.