Carlsbad’s housing crunch has widespread impacts

November 16, 2013 • State News

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — It took five months for John Thurston to find his current job.

The recent Eastern University graduate said he wanted to find a job closer to the geology field he studied in college.

Lucky for him, Morco Geological Services in Carlsbad answered his request.

“My boss told me ‘you’re hired,'” he said. “Then he said ‘Now start looking for a place.'”

Thurston, like so many out-of-state residents, quickly found out just what his supervisor meant. For a month, Thurston spent all his time trying to find somewhere to call home here in the city. And for that month, he called the Stagecoach Motel home, a place that didn’t feature many home-like qualities.

“It sucked,” he said. “Unfortunately, the only room they had available was a smoking room,” he added. “I felt like I was stuck there because it was really hard to find a place.”

Thurston is one of many people in the area suffering from a housing shortage. It is not uncommon to find oilfield and commercial trucks lined up at hotels along Canal Street at night. It’s a sight that has become more evident as time goes by.

“The population is growing so fast that housing has not caught up,” he said. “People are kind of desperate.”

A native of Spokane, Wash., Thurston said he came to Carlsbad in September and found out how tough it was to find an affordable place to live.

“The rest of cost of living is so normal but rent is so much more,” he said.

Although his company paid for his Login to read more

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