Housing in Wyoming, obstacles and solutions- Part 3

Updated: Aug. 6, 2023 at 7:18 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - We looked at housing resource history in part two. In this third part, we look at solutions, what works and what could help in the future.

Brenda Birkle, Director of the Affordable Housing Taskforce and Executive Director of My Front Door, says incentivizing both for-profit and non-profit builders needs to happen to fill out the housing gap and allow both to focus on their area of expertise.

Tools like land banking, state housing trust fund and community land trust can also help bring down costs.

”We can ensure that a one-time subsidy upfront can make that property affordable in perpetuity. It will never need another subsidy and can continue to serve families for decades...Generations,” said Birkle.

Land banks could remove blighted properties that are tax delinquent or use donated lands and get them earning and paying taxes again.

To start expediting the building, Seth Lloyd of the City of Cheyenne, Planning and Development says they have been looking into possibly frontloading some of the building decisions to come to an overall consensus and move forward on building quicker.

All of this could mean waiting time for affordable housing would minimize opening up places to live for our workforce.

” When we talk about affordable housing, we’re talking about young professionals, people who are still in college, or getting a degree online, we’re talking about possibly elderly people who are on fixed incomes or are retired and don’t need a big house anymore,” said Lloyd. “So when you’re talking about a new apartment going in, yes it’s a structure, and yes, it’s physically imposing but you have to remember that’s housing for seniors or for young professionals or for single moms.”

And ultimately, this is about our state’s growth.

“We’ve got to get serious as a state and as a community because it’s affecting everything from our health outcomes to our economic development to our labor force. We’ve got to figure something out, and we have to find a way to say welcome home, or we have to find a way to say goodbye,” said Birkle.

Experts also recommend contacting your local legislators to tell them how much housing matters. And that if we want nurses, teachers and job growth... We need housing.

Part 1

Part 2