The City of Casper's Consolidated Plan constitutes a strategic vision for housing and community development within the City. This document summarizes the plan so that citizens in the community can have a quick overview of Casper's housing and community development problems; the five-year broad goals; community values; strategies and actions proposed to deal with problems; and, the specific projects proposed for Fiscal Year 1995/96 to carry out this strategy.
The City of Casper was the second largest city in Wyoming in 1990, with a population of 46,742. The population consisted of 45,117 White, 433 Black, 244 American Indian/Eskimo, 254 Asian/Pacific Islander, and 683 Other. Areas of racial concentration were determined to be in the North Casper and Central Business District. The average Casper household size is 2.49 persons. The 1995 median household income as provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for Casper was $38,500. Nearly 38% of Casper households have incomes 8O% or less of HUD Adjusted Median Family Income and nearly 6,979 residents have income below the poverty level.
There were 32,004 persons employed in Natrona County in March 1995. Non-agricultural sectors included: 1,700 employed in Manufacturing; 1,900 in Mining; 1,800 in Oil and Gas Exploration; 1,300 in Construction; 1,600 in Transportation and Public Utilities; 2,1 00 in Wholesale Trade; 6,100 in Retail Trade; 1,100 in Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate; 7,400 in Services; and 5,600 in Government. Unemployment during this period was 6.0%. compared to a statewide average of 5.8% and national average of 7.9%.
Housing market conditions indicate that Casper's supply of affordable housing is diminishing. Real estate sectors report very few vacancies and those are filled within a very short period of time. Rents have increased during the past year as much as 20%. An average of 214 units are for sale at the present time. The average selling price for a single-family home is $77,465. New construction of single-family units has increased over the past three years. The average cost of this new housing is $175,000. Approximately 4,679 units were more than 40 years old and approximately 9,445 units were more than 30 years old. According to the Report of Inventory and 1992 Neighborhood Analysis, 16% of Casper's single-family and 9% of multi-family structures are substandard.
Assisted housing in the city consists of several elements. The City has 75 public housing units (which are owned by the Casper Housing Authority), 127 Mod-Rehab apartment units, 18 single family Mod-Rehab single-family units, and one 16-unit single-room occupancy facility. A total of 21 0 certificates and 60 vouchers, plus 35 certificate/vouchers for elderly citizens are provided for rental assistance. Other assisted units are comprised of four Section 221 projects, one Section 202 project, 20 units through a HUD sales contract, and twenty-nine HOME Program projects. An additional thirty HOME projects units are under construction. Except for the 75 public housing units, all units are owned by the private sector.
Homeless facilities consist of one emergency shelter for the homeless and one emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence; three youth facilities; seven transitional housing facilities for single parents and three transitional housing facilities for families and one 16-unit SRO facility. Five-year goals established in the plan are divided into two categories. These categories are Housing Needs and Other Community Development Needs.
The citizen participation process for preparing the consolidated plan began several months ago during the Vision 2000 process. This process began in January, 1990, and is still under-way.
The visioning process was started when a Steering Committee was appointed. Other committee's included an Outreach Committee and task forces.. A Vision 2000 office and a hot-line calling system was established in a downtown location. Outreach to the community included presentations, consultations, public service announcements, advertising through the Casper Star Tribune, and a large billboard. A community survey was prepared and delivered to 34,201 residents throughout the City and surrounding areas. Collection boxes were distributed to more than 40 locations. Five task forces were established to establish community-wide goals. The City adopted the Vision Statement on October 25, 1993, and task forces met to address the goals established in the Vision Statement. The Vision Statement was the basis for the preparation of the Consolidated Plan.
In addition to the visioning process, the Housing and Community Development Commission held two public hearings to provide interested citizens and organizations an opportunity to comment on the City's housing and community development needs. A 30-day comment period was provided. Notices of the hearing and request for comments were published in the Casper Star Tribune and the Casper Journal, both in the legal section and through large block ads. The City also consulted with the public housing agency, non-profit organizations, and other City Departments in establishing needs and goals. The Human Services Commission and members of the Casper Coalition of Affordable Housing were instrumental in establishing housing needs and goals for the plan. A summary of the draft plan was published in the May 16, 1995, Casper Star Tribune. Block ads were placed in the two local newspapers and copies of the plan were made available at four different locations. Citizens and organizations were given a 30-day period to comment on the plan.
Following public comment, the City Council reviewed the Plan and formed a Committee to review the over-all plan and its long-term objectives. This Committee recommended that a section on Community Values be added to the plan. These values are intended to reflect community expectations in the implementation of the goals, objectives, and programs included within the plan.
The City has adopted the following community development goals:
In order to assist the Casper community in realizing the goals adopted within this plan, the Following "Community Values" are offered as statements of intent describing the elements important in the delivery of services which are intended to provide assistance in meeting the program needs as specified within the Consolidated Plan.
Program services will be evaluated for their consistency with these "Community Values." The community therefore values:
AND HOUSING NEEDS
The plan has categorized housing need into income categories consisting of extremely low- income. very low-income, low-income, and moderate-income.
Extremely low-income, households earning 0 to 30% of median family income, represent households with the greatest need. An estimated 1,452 renters, and 625 owners in this category are experiencing housing problems and/or cost burdens.
Very low-income, households earning 31 to 50% median family income, are experiencing problems in obtaining or maintaining affordable housing. An estimated 994 renters and 1,052 owners are experiencing problems with locating affordable housing that is in standard condition.
Low-income, households earning 51 to 80% median family income, total 2,93 3. An estimated 1, 126 renters and 1,807 owners are experiencing housing problems and/or cost burden.
Moderate-income, households earning 81 to 95% median family income, total 1,701 households, consisting of 509 renters and 1, 1 92 owners. These households are experiencing housing problems and cost burden, but to a lesser degree than other income levels.
Minority households located in areas of minority concentration do not appear to experience housing difficulties any greater than other lower income households located throughout the City.
Overcrowding does not appear to be a major problem.
Populations with special needs include elderly, frail elderly, developmentally disabled, physically handicapped, alcohol or drug addicted, AIDS/HIV persons, and chronically mentally ill. There are an estimated 2,836 elderly and 215 frail elderly that may require assistance with housing and supportive services. This groups greatest need is assistance that would provide them with affordable housing and varying levels of in-home care that would allow them to live independently, preventing premature admittance to full-care nursing facilities.
Other special populations include the developmentally disabled, 259; physically handicapped 1,984; alcohol/drug addition, 764; and persons diagnosed with AIDS/HIV, 28. Housing problems for this group include affordability and supportive services that will enable them to receive the care they need for independent living. Additionally, downsizing of the Evanston Hospital will result in additional housing and support services needed for the chronically mentally ill.
Homeless needs vary is size and nature. Existing efforts to expand the emergency homeless shelter and transitional housing units should address current needs. The need for additional emergency shelter beds and transitional housing units may change over the five-year period. Continuation of the appropriate level of services provided for the homeless should be maintained.
The needs of persons threatened with homelessness include meeting basic housing costs, help with paying utility costs, medical, food, and employment. Social service agencies report an annual increase of 10- 1 3% in requests for their services.
Other Community Development Needs
Other community development needs included in the Plan are those needs that may be addressed utilizing Community Development Block Grant funds. These include:
FIVE-YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN
The following goals have been established to meet housing and community development needs within the City.
Priority Housing, Goals
Priority Special Population Housing, Goals
Special population housing goals are to provide 20 supervised units or group facilities for the developmentally or mentally disabled, provide 20 supervised units for the physically handicapped, and provide 20, one or two bedroom single-family or duplex units located on ground levels for the elderly or the mobility impaired.
Priority Homeless Goals
Homeless goals over the next five years are to provide 12 additional shelter beds and 9 separate rooms/units for families, provide 20 units of transitional housing (this number includes the five units for Seton House that should be completed by Fall, 1995), and provide 20 single-room (SRO) units.
Other Housing Issues
Public Housing goals are to improve the management and operation of public housing units through rehabilitation and continuing efforts to provide resident initiatives. No specific activities are planned to promote homeownership of public housing units.
Lead-based paint reduction efforts will be implemented through the City's owner-occupied housing rehabilitation program. Dwelling units of families found eligible for the program and have children under the age of seven will be targeted for assistance.
Reduction of barriers to affordable housing efforts will be addressed through the provision of city-owned lots for affordable housing projects, and investigating the establishment of a housing trust fund to meet federal match requirements for HUD programs.
Fair housing efforts will continue so that citizens are all treated fairly and equitably. The City will update or prepare another Impediments to Fair Housing once the final ruling has been received from federal agencies. Housing Alternatives, a non-profit organization within the City, will submit an application for fair housing and outreach program through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Priority Community Development Goals
ANNUAL ACTION PLAN
The consolidated plan includes an annual action plan which demonstrates goals and actions to be undertaken by all agencies throughout the City to meet those goals, and also constitutes the City's application for funds through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development formula grant program Community Development Block Grant Funds in the amount of $540,000.
Annual Action Plan Goals
The one year action plan is divided into two sections. This first section pertains to all projects anticipated to be implemented during the year. These projects may be undertaken by non-profit organizations, private developers, the Housing Authority, or through City-sponsored programs. (City-sponsored projects are noted)
BLOCK GRANT ACTION PLAN
This second category pertains to funding received by the City of Casper through the Community Development Block Grant program.
The following funds will be available for Fiscal Year 1995/96:
Prior Year unexpended CDBG grant funds $246,859 Fiscal Year 1995/96 Allocation $540,000 Estimated Program Income for FY 1995/96 $ 60,125 Total CDBG Funds Available for Projects $846,984 Proposed projects for FY 1995/96: 1. CHA/Interfaith Transitional Housing $ 30,775 Complete rehabilitation of two single-family transitional housing units located at 2301 Lennox and 2231 Shumway 2. Demolition Program $50,000 Acquisition and/or demolition of dangerous structures, and neighborhood clean-up programs. Approximately $100,000 will be carried forward to this program from FY 1994/95 increment. This will be a community-wide program, and approximately 10-15 structures will be razed. 3. Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation $147,209 Provides a loan program to low/mod households to rehabilitate their homes. Approximately $50,000 will be carried forward from FY 1994/95 increment. This will be a community-wide program, and a minimum of ten units will be rehabilitated. 4. Public Transit Fares Program $ 31,000 Provides point-to-point ridership passes on Public Transit buses for low- to moderate-income persons, preference for low-income elderly, disabled, and wheelchair riders. This will be a community-wide program, and an estimated 150 persons will be assisted. 5. Self-Help Center $50,000 Provides emergency shelter to victims of domestic violence and crisis intervention to victims of domestic violence, and preventive education. This will be a community-wide program. 6. L.A.D. 149, Phase II $250,000 Provides funding to pay assessments for curbwalk for low/mod households located within the assessment district. Located in the University Park, Wiser, East Terraces, and Eastdale Additions. Approximately $210,000 has been encumbered from FY 1994/95 for Phase I of this project. 7. Old City Garage Site Clean-up $100,000 Removal of asphalt and concrete and revegetation of lots at old city garage site. Located north of Marian Kreiner Park in North Casper Neighborhood. 8. Administration $108,000 Oversight, management, monitoring and coordinating of CDBG and HOPE III Programs. 9. Contingency $ 5,000 Funds set aside to cover cost overruns of activities described in the CDBG program. 1O. HOPE III Rehabilitation $ 75,000 Provide funding for rehabilitation of properties acquired through the HOPE III first-time homeownership program. This will be a community-wide program.
MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.
MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.
MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.
MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment