The Wyoming Business Council has released a toolkit to help communities address housing needs in the state. The toolkit shows what types of housing communities should be investing in, in terms of variables like size and affordability.
For example, Laramie could use more low-cost rentals for college students. Other areas may have too many rentals and not enough houses for families.
The Wyoming Community Development Authority (WCDA) is a resource for housing financing in the state that helped develop the report. Deputy Executive Director Lesli Wright said that the mismatch in housing availability and needs can hinder economic development.
"One of the top reasons that communities said that economic development was difficult for them was because they didn't really have housing in the event that a company wanted to move to Wyoming and hire a bunch of people or bring people in," said Wright.
The business council realized the need for more housing information after it was brought up at several of their town hall meetings.
"There may be housing stock that's available but it's so old and lacks adequate plumbing and kitchen facilities that it's really not desirable," Wright said.
The WCDA, USDA Office of Rural Development, non-profits and other organizations helped put together the toolkit using information from a variety of sources, including census data and the WCDA's housing needs forecast.