CHEYENNE, Wyoming (Wyoming News Now) – Affordable housing is a recurring topic in Wyoming, which has become more complicated with the pandemic.
While Wyoming’s business sector has positioned itself to thrive, it is hampered by the housing shortage statewide.
In Cheyenne, Mayor Patrick Collins appointed Edward Ernste vice-chair of the affordable housing task force to alleviate some of that pressure.
One possible way, being discussed to make housing affordable, is to introduce a program similar to the out-of-state models.
This program would allow homeowners to buy their home and lease the land on which it is built to the state or city.
This method could reduce up-front costs and open up the development of single-family and multi-family buildings within a price range that people could afford.
“They could rent land to these customers and then save a lot on that initial cost. They would charge a very small rental amount for this property. I think we’re talking up to $ 30 a year to rent the property, but you still have the property taxes and everything that goes with that as an owner of that house and that would be a lot more affordable, ”said Edward Ernste. , vice-chair of the Affordable Housing Task Force.
Once the client was ready to sell the property, the equity in the home would be divided between the city and the owner.
This could bring the cost of the home down to between $ 150,000 and $ 200,000 while still gaining equity.
With Covid-19, labor shortages and supply chain delays, everything is in crisis.
“Doing something was like, what do you call that, keeping cats?” The projects that I work on that would typically take a year and a half to 2-3 years to develop take 3, 4 or 5 years to develop, ”said Ernste.
Politics is another barrier to housing beyond affordability.
“Number one, we have to figure out how to make the process easier and faster. With all government agencies, whether it’s the county or the city or whoever it is, so that we can get the builders through, ”said Dale Steenbergen, president and CEO of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce.
Streamlining the process could help the time it would take to close the 5,000 to 7,000 housing unit gap that Wyoming needs.
“We have been pushing for a long time for a one-stop-shop, which we enter, whatever, city, government, county. You go to a place, a person, and there is someone there who stands up for you, helps you go through this process. Anything we can do to speed up this process, make it simpler, make it cheaper is important, ”Steenbergen said.
Wyoming rulers are helping find ways to get people into homes while supporting Wyoming’s growing economy.
Collective and single-family housing projects are spread throughout the city of Cheyenne.
One hundred and fifty rental units and 100 single-family homes are expected to be built by the end of 2022, and more by 2023.
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