Housing supply

Housing supply may deteriorate before it improves

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) – As Cheyenne continues to grow, housing needs rise with it.

In this housing crisis, local authorities are looking for ways to fill this void.

But supply chain delays, bureaucracy and inflation are impediments to advancing the problem.

According to Brenda Birkle of My Front Door, social housing has a waiting list of 1,800 people.

Providing space-saving housing for seniors helps open up older homes for young families when seniors sell, which are often cheaper than newer construction.

But the pressure created by the housing shortage is creating rising prices that are overwhelming low-income families.

“The more units available, the less bidding war on units in the market if we have more to meet this need. And then some of them naturally came out on the affordable side, so I think it’s a huge inventory issue, Birkle said.

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

Charles Bloom of the Urban Renewal Authority and Director of Planning and Development for the City of Cheyenne says, “Some downtown areas contain vacant, underutilized space that could become residential. Using the Urban Renewal Authority and tax increment funding would at least provide a way forward to remove some of those final barriers that have been put in place to prevent the incorporation of housing into existing buildings.

The more Cheyenne grows in business, the bigger the housing issue becomes. Added labor shortages and rising inflation are compounding the pressures.

There are 1,600 homes under construction that we will see developed and available within a year and a half. So far only 5 have been completed.

“A lot of them are starting to come online. These projects are starting to come to fruition. We have this little delay between getting these projects into our offices and building them and then inhabiting them,” said Seth Llyod, Planner 2 of planning and development for the city of Cheyenne.

Although authorities say Wyoming is short of 3,000 homes, there are many developments underway, but that number is a moving target.

The time it takes between planning and unit availability means that Wyoming residents will feel the pinch more and more as more and more people move to the state for work.

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