Rifle Families Face Tough Times with Housing Crunch

By: Jessica Zartler Email
By: Jessica Zartler Email

The Rifle Housing Authority says the oil and gas industry keeps growing, but apartments and rental homes are scarce. That's making it very tough for families dealing with the housing crunch.

On top of all the growth, one family says their RV park is closing for redevelopment.

They say they've looked high and low for a new place in Rifle, but they're running into dead ends, and right now, they have nowhere to go.

Two–year–old Donavan may not get to see his grandpa for much longer. Joe Montoya and his family are getting kicked out of Bookcliff RV Park and they can't find a place they can afford.

"I guess I could send my family home and i could live out of my semi," Montoya told 11 News on Monday.

Home for them is near Alamosa. Montoya moved to Rifle to try and make a better life for his family with a higher paying job hauling pipes and water from the oil fields.

"There's will be work here for 20 years to come, but no homes...Not unless you wanna pay $400,000."

And he says he's not the only one struggling.

"Where I work you see people living out of their semi's. It's tough, but you gotta make money," said Montoya.

Vicki Coate with the Rifle Housing authority says she gets tons of calls for people looking for help.

"There are not a lot of vacancies, and the ones there are, are too expensive," Choate told 11 News on Monday.

The housing authority already has a waiting list, with priority going to low–income senior citizens. Choate doesn't think it's going to get better anytime soon.

"I don't see a solution right off the bat. The problem's going to get bigger," said Choate.

Not a promising outlook for Joe Montoya and his family.

"We were gonna rent down the road, but those trailers have to get moved too," said Montoya.

And as he sees the windows around the park getting boarded up, he's wondering if he'll find a place in time, or if he'll have to sleep in his truck and visit his family on the holidays.

14th Street Marketplace owns Bookcliff RV Park. A property manager with the company told 11 News over the phone the development plans are still up in the air while the company is in talks with the city.

Ironically some possible plans include apartments, but there's no timeline on when and if they'll be finished.


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