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Population Growth: Building New Homes Won’t Solve the Problem

It’s no surprise that the City of Midland has an increasing population problem. But city officials say building new houses or apartments will not solve the problem.
It’s no surprise that the City of Midland has an increasing population problem. But city officials say building new houses or apartments will not solve the problem.

“People ask us ‘how many housing units do you need to meet the demand that we have right now in Midland?’ and the honest answer is that we are not completely sure,” said Sara Higgins, Public Information Officer for the city of Midland.

That’s because the city has not finished addressing the current over population.

“We probably have so many families living in one residence that even if these new residencies come online you might have people moving out of those situations versus just meeting the need and demand for new people coming into town,” she said.

And the people who have lived all their lives in the Tall City can easily tell the difference.

“Even carts at Walmart. You go and you don’t have a basket to put your groceries in,” said Midland resident Kayleigh Butler.

But her worries go beyond the grocery carts.

“Driving and the crime rate that's what bothers me and I'm not saying it's the new people that brought all of this but our town isn't built for this,” Butler said.

The first step to address the problem is updating the zoning and codes, the city said. The goal is to have an updated version of the city, versus the Midland 20 years ago.

“If you have too many apartments in one area and you’re allowing too great of densities,” Higgins said. “You’re going to have traffic problems, you’re going to have all kinds of problems with parking.”
A problem already visible to Midlanders.

“At apartment complexes it's horrible trying to get a parking, you can't get a parking spot. At the mall it's always pretty bad because that's the only place to go to so every weekend people are going to be at the mall. Walmart you have to park far away, there is not enough,” Butler said.

But despite the inconveniences, Butler said she thankful for the growing economy in Midland.

“There is too many people here but I think it's a good thing and a bad thing,” she said.

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