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Published August 23, 2010, 07:46 AM

HUD secretary checking western ND housing shortage

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Federal housing secretary Shaun Donovan is visiting Williston to get a firsthand look at western North Dakota's housing shortage.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Federal housing secretary Shaun Donovan is visiting Williston to get a firsthand look at western North Dakota's housing shortage.

Williston and other western towns don't have enough places to live for people who have come in to work in the oil fields.

Gov. John Hoeven, Sen. Kent Conrad and Rep. Earl Pomeroy are accompanying Donovan on his tour late Monday.

Conrad said most of the new housing is going to have to come from private developers. But he says there are some federal Housing and Urban Development programs that can help.

Conrad says private investment in housing has been held back by memories of the region's oil bust in the early 1980s. But Conrad believes the region's most recent oil boom has more staying power.

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