The State of Wyoming's goals are to increase the supply of standard, affordable housing; promote homeownership opportunities; improve the condition of low and moderate income groups (LMI) especially vulnerable to adverse economic or social conditions; provide for the creation and retention of permanent jobs; and to provide appropriate housing for special population groups including the elderly, disabled, and homeless.
The Consolidated Plan includes an action plan constituting an application for funds under three different HUD formula programs for a total of $7,234,000. The funding breakdown is as follows:
Community Development Block Grant $3,555,000 Emergency Shelter Grants $ 179,000 HOME $3,500,000
The State of Wyoming greatly expanded its citizen participation process in order to prepare its Consolidated Plan. The State mailed approximately 500 letters to local governments, nonprofits, etc.; published public notices in the State-wide newspaper; published news releases in local newspapers; and utilized public radio programming. Over 100 citizens attended public meetings which were held in various geographical locations throughout the State. Various State agencies made presentations regarding housing and community development at the public meetings. Coordination and information sharing between State agencies, local governments, non-profits, and citizens reached a new level as a result of the State's expanded process.
The State of Wyoming is 97,914 square miles in total land area (of which 57 percent is public land) with a 1990 population of 453,588 people. Of the total population, six percent is Hispanic, two percent Native American, one percent Black and one percent Asian. Thirty-five percent of the population live in rural areas of the State. Populations are centered in the cities of Cheyenne (50,008). Casper (46,742), Laramie (26,687), Rock Springs (19,050), and Gillette (17,635). Just over 169,300 households in the State, which represents thirty-seven percent of the population, are at or below 80 percent of the median family income.
Available housing stock in most areas of the State is in short supply. There is a strong demand for single family houses for sale or rent and for multi-family rentals. New housing starts are well above the affordable price range with the average cost of a newly constructed home in Wyoming exceeding $145,000. There are a significant number of homes in many communities that are in need of rehabilitation. There is also a need for housing and services for special population groups including the elderly and disabled. Wyoming does not have a large population of homeless persons. It is estimated that, on any given day, there are approximately 527 homeless persons in the State. These individuals and family are in need of housing and support services. Homeownership has been discussed as a need for public housing residents, however, homeownership will only be undertaken if there was no net loss in the inventory of affordable rental units.
The State's non-housing community development needs include public facilities for housing special population groups; support for the development of emergency shelters and transitional housing; infrastructure improvements; operating funds for public services which serve LMI persons; job creation; and centers for employment and education.
The State's strategic plan was developed with the help of citizens, non-profit providers, various State agencies, and by analyzing data from the 1990 Census. The strategic plan provides the State's plan of action for the next three years and includes its priority community development, housing and homeless objectives.
The State's non-housing community development objectives as set forth in its 3-year strategic plan and are summarized below:
The State's housing and homeless objectives include the following:
Wyoming's one year action plan provides the methods of distribution for the CDBG, HOME and ESG programs. The CDBG program is divided into four main areas: Economic Development (32 percent), Community Development (42 percent), Housing (23 percent), Imminent Threat (funded as needed), and administration (3 percent).
The Economic Development portion of the State's program incudes the following types of assistance. Planning only, technical assistance, job training, economic development infrastructure, and downtown development. Economic development applications are accepted any time through out the year and are funded on a first-come, first-serve basis based on rating factors such as integrated effort, potential economic benefit, and cost per job.
The Community Development portion of the State's program consists of three areas: Removal of architectural barriers, public infrastructure (such as water and sewer lines, streets, curbs, sidewalks, etc.), and all other eligible activities. Applications are funded through an annual competition based on rating factors such as program assessment (includes seriousness and urgency of the problem) and integrated effort (financial support from other sources).
Housing activities consist of rehabilitation, development of housing, housing for the homeless, and weatherization. Applications are funded via an annual competition with rating factors of program assessment (includes program design, seriousness and urgency of problem); integrated effort (how well project will combine with other programs to solve a specific problem and other resources that will be used); management capacity (ability to plan and administer the proposed project); equity in the project; and previous efforts to solve the problem.
The State's HOME program is divided into three areas: Rental Housing Production including rehabilitation, acquisition and new construction; Homeowner Rehabilitation; and Homeownership. Rating criteria include program assessment (includes program design, seriousness and urgency of problem); integrated effort (how well project will combine with other programs to solve a specific problem and other resources that will be used); management capacity (ability to plan and administer the proposed project); equity in the project; and previous efforts to solve the problem. Funds are allocated based on an annual competition.
The State's ESG funds are distributed to local governments based on needs and resources including the number of homeless, nights of shelter required, meals provided, local resources available, and the local economy. Recipients of 1995 funds include: Fremont County, the Shoshone-Arapaho Joint Business Council, Laramie County, Natrona County, Niobrara County, and Northern Arapaho Business Council.
Mr. James F. Casey
Housing Programs Coordinator
Wyoming Community Development Authority (WCDA)
123 South Durbin
Casper, WY 82601
Phone: (307) 265-0603
Fax: (307) 266-5414