Construction of a mobile housing unit or "man camp" in South Heart may begin as early as late January if talks between Arctic Catering and its potential client go well.

The South Heart City Council approved a request which allows a man camp to be built in Alvin Galster Jr.'s Prairie Vista Mobile Home and RV Park about a month ago, Mayor Floyd Hurt said.

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Man camps are being built in many cities across southwest North Dakota in an effort to combat the lack of housing caused by an oil boom.

The camp would consist of five trailers which are set side-by-side and connected, forming one housing unit. It would house 16 workers, a cook and housekeeper.

"We are happy the council approved the request, but we are still discussing the business details with our client," said Bill Campbell, Arctic Catering supervisor for the area. Campbell added that although they are still in discussion, it is more than likely the camp will be built.

"We should have a final decision by mid-January," Campbell said. "If we reach an agreement and get the go ahead from our client we would begin work shortly."

Galster Jr., the owner of Prairie Vista, said he and his family are also excited about the decision.

"It couldn't happen at a better time," Galster Jr. said. "Just like many other families being able to generate a little extra income will be a blessing."

He said he and his family are patiently waiting to hear Arctic Catering's final decision.

"They have the OK from me. We'll be ready whenever they are."

Doris Wagner, a rural South Heart resident said a man camp wouldn't bother her at all.

"They need a place to live, too," Wagner said, adding every city should help them.

Wagner added there needs to be a cap put on rent in the area.

"Rent is getting so high and housing is short, meanwhile people are trying to make a living," she said. "It's only fair that something be done about it."

All South Heart City Council members declined comment.