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Tiny homes, apartment complexes help fill huge need in Palestine

The lack of housing is becoming a bigger problem in the city of Palestine. However, a new project is set to help change that problem.

TYLER, Texas — A set of small houses are soon to make their way into one Palestine neighborhood. 

"There will be four of them, [approx.] 600 square-feet," Gayle Cooper, the City of Palestine's economic development director, said. 

City leaders approved the construction of the small houses on Blanton Road to combat the housing shortage inside the city limits.

Although small in size, the homes will have one bedroom, one bathroom and a kitchen. 

The city says the tiny homes are helping with a bigger issue within the city. 

"We have about 100,000 people in our trade area," Cooper said. 

In an effort to draw more people and outside investments, the city created a large online marketing campaign. 

"We have professionals who have not been able to find housing in our community," Cooper explained. "They've had to go elsewhere and commute into Palestine to their jobs."

The city has not had a new housing development since the 90s. 

Cooper, who is originally from Arizona, says the city is focused on constructing higher end apartments with rental prices starting in the $900 range. 

"It was evident from the time I came that there were two things that we really needed and one of those were housing," Cooper said. "And we can't keep pulling in businesses if we don't have a place to put the employees."