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Eagle Ford Shale Housing Report

Affordability is Eagle Ford Shale’s Most Prominent Housing Need


Young families with school-aged children will continue to account for a significant portion of newcomers to six Eagle Ford Shale counties, according to a study released today by the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Institute for Economic Development. Researchers Azza Kamal and Richard Tangum in the UTSA College of Architecture and Center for Urban and Regional Planning Research completed the Eagle Ford Shale Strategic Housing Analysis, which examines the state of housing in Dimmit, Frio, La Salle, Maverick, Webb and Zavala Counties.

Download the study at

“The Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas play is one of the most significant oil and gas finds in Texas history, and it has attracted an influx of transient and permanent workers from across Texas and the nation,” said Gilbert Gonzalez, SBDC director. “As we look 10 to 15 years into the future, it is clear that housing stock, public service, infrastructure and public utilities will need to be improved and expanded to accommodate the influx of new residents.”

The study concludes:

  • From 2000 to 2010, the population in the six-county region grew by 65,958 people, and housing grew by 21,805 units.
  • The housing occupancy rate hovered around 89 percent in 2000 and 2010, suggesting that the population and housing growth in the six-county region increased proportionally.
  • The median household income in the six-county region, which ranges from $21,707 to $36,684, is sharply lower than the median income in Texas and the nation. (U.S. Census 2010)
  • Housing units in the area need to include a flexible design approach that can adapt to changes in demographics after the extraction activities of oil and gas has ended.
  • Vacant housing units in all shale counties need to be further analyzed because they offer strong potential if resources can be allocated for rehabilitation and home-repair programs.

UTSA researchers suggest that new permanent housing in the shale region should include a combination of detached single-family units and attached multi-family units. Mixed-use development is highly desired in the large communities. Moreover, the optimal placement for new residential developments is within 15.5 miles driving distance to work sites in the six-county region studied. Strategic locations for new developments include Carrizo Springs (Dimmit County), Crystal City (Zavala County), Dilley and Pearsall (Frio County), Cotulla (La Salle County) and Laredo (Webb County).

The study also says affordable temporary, mobile and rental housing units are needed to accommodate the region’s newcomers. Approximately 77.5 percent of the hotels studied were 90 percent booked by people planning to stay for 30 or more days. Researchers found this trend causes an economic burden for those communities because those long-term guests are not required to pay the Hotel Occupancy Tax.

“Affordability and sustainability of housing solutions are the most important lessons uncovered by this study,” said Kamal, the study’s principal investigator. “Policy leaders need to keep housing prices at rates that are affordable for local residents and the newcomers to maintain a positive quality of life for everyone living in the shale region.”

The Eagle Ford Shale is a 50 mile-wide by 400 mile-long formation that runs from the southern portion of Texas to the east. The formation produces natural gas, condensate, oil, and natural gas liquids, with margins more favorable than other shale plays. Last year, the 20-county region generated more than $25 billion in revenue for South Texas, according to a study released in May 2012 by the Center for Community and Business Research at the UTSA Institute for Economic Development.

Written by Christi Fish
Associate Director of Media Relations, The University of Texas at San Antonio

Eagle Ford Shale Generated More Than $25 Billion in Revenue for South Texas in 2011

UTSA PROJECTS THE SHALE TO CREATE 117,000 JOBS BY 2021 (Download the full study)

Development of oil and natural gas in the Eagle Ford Shale contributed $25 billion in total economic output to the region in 2011, according to a study released today by the Center for Community and Business Research at The University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Economic Development (UTSA).

“The Eagle Ford Shale has proven to be one of the most important economic engines in the state,” said Dr. Thomas Tunstall, director of the UTSA Center for Community & Business Research, and the study’s principal investigator. “In 2011 alone, the play generated over $25 billion in revenue, supported 47,000 full-time jobs in the area, and provided $257 million in local government revenue.”

The study also concluded that in 2011 shale development:

    • Paid $3.1 billion in salaries and benefits to workers;
    • Provided more than $12.6 billion in gross regional product;
    • Added more than $358 million in state revenues, including $120.4 million in severance taxes;
    • And spurred a triple-digit sales tax revenue increase in various local counties.

“We view the Eagle Ford activity as an economic opportunity of a lifetime,” said Mario Hernandez, president of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation. “The key goal is the increase in investment and jobs. And if the communities will partner with the private companies that are creating these jobs, it can be a win-win for everybody.”

The increased revenue from the Eagle Ford Shale is rebuilding local communities. New schools and new hospitals are being built, and new training programs have been launched to maximize hiring from the local workforce. The study projects the creation of approximately 117,000 full-time jobs by 2021.

“The residents and local leadership of South Texas have taken a proactive and collaborative approach to this new economic opportunity, which we hope demonstrates how communities can embrace, invest and manage this new influx of revenues to ensure long-term regional prosperity,” said Leodoro Martinez, executive director for the Middle Rio Grande Development Council and Chairman of the Eagle Ford Consortium.

“Through the Eagle Ford Consortium, Eagle Ford Task Force and other community-industry collaborations, Eagle Ford leaders and residents are working together to develop training programs, enhance local employment opportunities, and forge solutions to community issues that maximize the benefits and manage the effects from increased development activity.”

The Eagle Ford Shale is a 50 mile-wide by 400 mile-long formation that runs from the southern portion of Texas to the east. The formation produces natural gas, condensate, oil, and natural gas liquids, with margins more favorable than other shale plays. The study assessed the economic impact of the Eagle Ford Shale on the 14 counties currently producing oil and natural gas from the formation, as well as the six surrounding counties indirectly involved in its development.

Boeing San Antonio Impact Report

The Boeing Company in San Antonio continues to be a major contributor to the Texas economy with a $415.5 million total economic impact in 2009 when the new commercial activities are added, according to a new study released today by the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Center for Community and Business Research.

Download full report here

Download executive summary here

San Antonio Missions Impact Report

The missions of San Antonio play an important part in defining the city’s culture. Their presence also helps drive the city’s hospitality and tourism industry. In 2009, over 1.7 million people visited Missions Concepción, San José, San Juan, and Espada in San Antonio. Collectively, these missions and associated features—including acequias (irrigation canals), labores (farm lands), dam and aqueduct, and the single remaining rancho (mission ranch) —comprise the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. In 2009, park visitors, along with staffing, construction and maintenance activities, and other aspects of park operations, contributed nearly $98.8 million to the local economy and sustained 1,116 jobs in the region.

Download the Report here.

Economic Impact of the Eagle Ford Shale – 2011

In less than three years of development, the Eagle Ford Shale already accounts for over six percent of the Gross Regional Product for the 24-countySouth Texas area it encompasses, according to a study released today by the Center for Community and Business Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Economic Development.

“The Eagle Ford Shale may be one of the largest onshore natural gas and oil discoveries in the past half century,” said Dominique Halaby, the center’s director. “In 2010 alone, this newest of the Texas shale plays generated close to $2.9 billion in revenue, supported approximately 12,600 full-time jobs in the area, and provided nearly $47.6 million in local government revenue.”

Download the Report


CCBR, in conjunction with the Rural Business Program has been selected by the North American Development Bank’s U.S. Community Adjustment and Investment Program to develop strategies for assisting community’s negatively impacted by foreign trade.

Rural Business Program

CCBR has partnered with the South-West Texas SBDC Border Network’s Rural Business Program and the UTSA College of Architecture to prepare economic base studies and community plans for the communities of Encinal, Port Isabel, Pecos and Zapata. “This is an exciting opportunity to provide these community leaders with key economic development tools that they will be able to use in planning their community’s future,” said Dominique Halaby, CCBR Director. Each project is expected to be released by the end of the summer 2010.

Texas Small Business Economic Impact

To assist the State of Texas in understanding the economic impact of Texas businesses with fewer than 100 employees, the Office of the Governor contracted with CCBR to prepare Little Companies, Big Impact: The Economic Impact of Texas Businesses with Fewer Than 100 Employees.

This report focuses on several areas, from understanding the relative importance of high-growth clusters in Texas to determining the import role small businesses play in the state’s economy. Central to our report is the quantifying of the total impact small businesses with fewer than 100 employees have on the Texas economy. We estimate the 377,374 firms which comprise this category to have a total production impact of over $915 billion. In addition, a series of maps presented that depict the relative importance of various industries by Council of Government area. Also discussed is the relationship between a counties’ median household income and the presence of various small business establishments.

Understanding the relationship between income distribution, business concentration, and economic contribution is a key element in developing a strategy to promote small business creation and foster economic growth.

Executive Summary

Technical Report #1

Technical Report #2

Disaster Resiliency Program

CCBR, in conjunction with the Contracting Resource Center and the Southwest Trade Adjustment Assistance Center has been selected by the Economic Development Administration to outline the economic impact of recent disasters on businesses in the Rio Grande Valley and to recommend strategies to strengthen to improve business continuity.


CCBR works with Startech (formerly SATAI) to determine the economic impact of the companies they assisted in 2009.