North Texas home starts boom as builders struggle to meet buyer demand

North Texas builders scrambling to meet a flood of buyers have boosted home starts to the highest level in more than a decade.

Dallas-Fort Worth single-family home starts soared by more than 34% in the third quarter from a year earlier, rising in the face of the pandemic and recession. Builders started almost 13,000 local houses during the just-completed quarter, according to just-released data from Residential Strategies Inc.

“Back when the pandemic hit, we were bracing for a pretty tough summer with all the job loss,” said Ted Wilson, principal for the Dallas-based housing consultant. “But everything opened up in May with strong sales and it has continued onward.

“It’s pretty amazing considering the backdrop of COVID.”

Wilson said the third-quarter D-FW home starts were the strongest since mid-2006, before the Great Recession hit the housing markets.

Builders have started 43,246 North Texas homes in the year ending September —

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Montana’s care homes struggle with staffing and ever-changing regulations as COVID-19 cases rise | State & Regional

During the first three months of the pandemic, Coe kept a bed in his office because he didn’t want to infect his family and wanted to reassure his staff he was there for them.

“Health care and our industry didn’t bring this to the state, but we’re living with choices everybody makes whether you gown up, mask up, you wash your hands — whatever happens, if it gets into the facility, we have to live with whatever happens,” Coe said.

‘Staff doesn’t grow on trees’

The Montana Health Care Association serves long-term care facilities in the state, and many have reached out to get answers and support, according to Rose Hughes, the association’s executive director.

“To me it has just brought forth a whole new experience and lots of questions about how should these things be handled,” Hughes said in an interview in September. “What can you do? Because staff

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Children whose homes burned down in wildfires struggle to return to online schooling

The Pearl Hill fires burned down several homes in Bridgeport, seen Sept. 10. (Amanda Snyder / The Seattle Times)
The Pearl Hill fires burned down several homes in Bridgeport, seen Sept. 10. (Amanda Snyder / The Seattle Times)

Monserrat Gildo and her 11-year-old sister Citally were already grappling with a rocky start to the school year: Bridgeport, like most other districts in Washington, began the school year online.

Then came the Pearl Hill wildfire.

Police slipped warning letters under doors and told people to leave. On Labor Day, 15-year-old Monserrat and her family evacuated as fire tore through the Douglas County town, turning homes, barns and cars to ash. But for a few items, “everything my parents worked for was lost,” said Monserrat, who goes by Monse. “Everything just got burned down.”

Suddenly children here are reeling from two crises: a world upended by a global pandemic and housing insecurity in the wake of environmental disaster. After the fire cleared, most Bridgeport residents were without water, electricity or internet

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