Wyoming Governor Approves Federal Rental Assistance Program

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon has authorized the use of $200 million in coronavirus relief aid to launch a federal rental assistance program in Wyoming.

The Republican governor signed legislation on Wednesday authorizing the program and its funding, the Casper Star-Tribune reported. The program is not new, but it has been reorganized under the Department of Family Services.

The Wyoming Community Development Authority was overseeing the previous rental assistance program paid for by federal pandemic aid. It distributed fewer than $2 million from the $15 million set aside for the program. It has not been active since December.

Officials said it was largely unused in the state because of strict eligibility requirements and high rates of denial. The Department of Family Services is hoping the new iteration of the program will be more successful.

Residents can apply for the program online starting April 27. Applicants will need to meet income-based eligibility criteria and prove their housing instability related to the pandemic. Funds provided from the program can be used to pay late fees, utilities and other housing-related costs.

“The program also will help landlords, many of whom are small businesses, avoid financial difficulties when their renters cannot pay,” said Korin Schmidt, department director.