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The housing supply may get worse before it gets better

As the Cheyenne continues to grow, housing needs grow with it. In this housing crunch, local authorities are looking for ways to fill that gap. But supply...
Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 8:57 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - As the Cheyenne continues to grow, housing needs grow with it.

In this housing crunch, local authorities are looking for ways to fill that gap.

But supply chain delays, bureaucracy and inflation are stumbling blocks to advancing the issue.

According to Brenda Birkle of My Front Door, low-income housing has a waiting list of 1,800 individuals long.

Supplying small footprint housing for seniors helps open up older homes for younger families when seniors sell, which are often cheaper than newer constructions.

But the pressure created by the housing shortage creates a price hike that stumps low-income families.

“The more units available it creates less of a bidding war on market units if we have more to suit that need. And then some of those are naturally released to the affordable side so I think it’s a huge inventory issue,” said Birkle.

Additionally, specific units that could be used for housing are currently zoned as commercial and need to be re-zoned, which takes time to move through the proper channels.

Charles Bloom of the Urban Renewal Authority and the Director of Planning and Development for the City of Cheyenne says, “some areas of downtown there’s vacant under-utilized space that could become residential. Utilizing the Urban Renewal Authority and the Tax Increment Financing would give at least a path forward to removing some of those finical obstacles that have been in place preventing housing from being incorporated in existing buildings.”

The more Cheyenne grows in business, the greater the housing problem becomes. Adding a shortage in the workforce and rising inflation compounds the pressures.

There are 1.600 housing units in the works which we will see developed and available within a year and a half. So far, only 5 have been completed.

”A lot of those are starting to come online. These projects are starting to get completed. We have this little bit of time delay between getting those projects into our offices and then getting them built and then inhabited,” said Seth Llyod, Planner 2 with Planning and Development for the City of Cheyenne.

Although authorities state that Wyoming is 3,000 housing units short, they have many developments in the works, but this number is a moving target.

The time it takes from planning to having units available will means Wyomingites will increasingly feel the pinch as more people move into the state for work.

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