Local Forecast From Shale Gas/Housing Study

gashousingdrkolbgashousingwilliamson1Two social scientists who will speak at Tuesday night’s public meeting on shale gas drilling and housing trends (see item below) will draw from a regional study they directed last year. Drs. Bonita Kolb and Jonathan Williamson conducted considerable research in counties that have been affected by shale gas drilling.

They focused on economic and social factors, paying particular attention to housing availability/affordability and the impact on low-income citizens. Among their findings that could apply to Potter County:

  • The county will see increased drilling, but they will not be a site of intense gas-related development, such as has been experienced in Bradford County.
  • Employees coming during the initial development will prefer temporary housing such as motels, small apartments, and campgrounds. An exception would be if a gas company or an associated business opts to set up major headquarters for distribution, field services or office/administrative operations.
  • Private developers will respond through the conversion of older homes into more attractive properties and/or apartments, or through construction or expansion of motels. Those relocating to the area prefer more modern housing.
  • Home prices and rents will continue their upward climb. More low-income residents will be unable to afford suitable housing. A higher proportion of retirees will be seeking housing where they can live independently but in close proximity to community facilities. This could free up family-sized homes, occupied in many cases by widows and widowers, for families.

Potter County Today is a timely information site courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners. Reprinted with Permission.

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