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Cost of worker housing subsidies plagues Williston

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) -- As Williston continues to grow because of the oil boom, so does the amount of money the city needs to subsidize housing for city employees.

Employees get $500 per month for housing, and the total went from $643,000 in 2012 to $1.2 million last year. City Commissioner Brad Bekkedahl says he expects the amount to climb to $1.5 million this year.

A national study from an apartment renting guide recently found that Williston had the highest average rent in the United States, at nearly $2,400 a month for a one-bedroom apartment.

Williston plans to seek more state money. Bekkedahl says the 2012 Legislature gave the city $60 million for essential housing projects, but the city has about $300 million in needs.