While presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is leading in the polls in Texas by promising to build a wall between the Lone Star state and Mexico, home builders in the area are complaining about a labor shortage that is keeping them from getting homes built and is driving up costs.
The problem? Skilled Mexican laborers who have gone home and haven’t returned, reports WFAA.
Lacking skilled tradesmen, the completion of homes under construction in North Texas is falling further and further behind, adding up to $7,000 per month to the cost of a home.
Part of the problem, explains Ted Wilson of Residential Strategies, is that many subcontractors shut down during the recession and a lot of their workers returned to Mexico and aren’t coming back despite plenty of work being available.
“It used to be the deal the electrician was finishing, the sheetrocker was stepping over him to button up the house and now you go by and there will be no trucks in front of the house for a week or so until the next trade shows up,” explained Wilson.
For home builder Kevin Egan, that means he’s only completing about half the houses he needs to finish for buyers — driving up his costs and theirs.
Because of stiff competition for construction workers willing to work in the hot Texas sun, Egan says he is seeing his labor costs double due to supply and demand. The builder said workers in one subdivision he is developing were only able to complete 38 homes this year — adding he should have been able to complete somewhere “in the 70’s.”
Watch the video below from WFAA: