Wyoming US senators again support bill to sell off public lands for affordable housing
Wyoming senators are once again supporting a bill in the U.S. Congress that would allow states to sell off federal land. But only under the condition that that land would be used for affordable housing.
Senators John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis have lent their support to Senator Mike Lee's (R-Utah) newly introduced HOUSES Act.
The HOUSES Act would allow the sale of federal land to a state or local government, so long as there's a plan in place to build affordable housing there, with at least four residences per acre. At least 85 percent of the parcel would have to be devoted to this dense housing. That percentage can also include fire stations, schools, churches, health clinics or mixed-use residential and commercial structures.
"As affordable housing becomes scarcer in Wyoming, we need innovative solutions to help families be able to continue calling Wyoming home," Lummis said in a news release. "The HOUSES Act frees up some federal land to be purchased and repurposed for residential development and helps western families fulfill and continue to live the American dream."
The act forbids the sale of national park land or of other "federally protected lands," including national monuments, battlefields and historic sites.
Any sale from the federal government to a more local government would require the approval of that state's governor.
The HOUSES Act has not yet received a vote. The same bill was introduced last year as well and died because it never received a vote.