Skip to content
Subscriber Only

The Real Estate Crisis in North Dakota's Man Camps

  • Local officials worry about filling new residential units
  • As migrants leave, castoff RVs pile up in local scrap yards
Partially completed buildings stand during construction at the Williston Apartments luxury apartment complex in Williston, North Dakota, on Sept. 9, 2015.

Partially completed buildings stand during construction at the Williston Apartments luxury apartment complex in Williston, North Dakota, on Sept. 9, 2015.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Chain saws and staple guns echo across a $40 million residential complex under construction in Williston, North Dakota, a few miles from almost-empty camps once filled with oil workers. 

After struggling to house thousands of migrant roughnecks during the boom, the state faces a new real-estate crisis: The frenzied drilling that made it No. 1 in personal-income growth and job creation for five consecutive years hasn’t lasted long enough to support the oil-fueled building explosion.