Gordon Issues Order to Help With Rental Assistance

On Wednesday, Gov. Mark Gordon issued an executive order to allow the Wyoming Department of Family Service to help with emergency rental assistance.

Ellen Fike

February 10, 20212 min read

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On Wednesday, Gov. Mark Gordon issued an executive order to allow the Wyoming Department of Family Service to distribute federal emergency rental assistance.

The federal government has provided the state with $200 million in funding to cover rent and utility costs for Wyomingites struggling financially due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The need for this program cannot be understated, but it requires significant work to run it effectively and that’s what begins now,” Gordon said. “Wyoming’s network of nonprofit and community service organizations continue to report statistics demonstrating Wyomingites’ need for relief during this global pandemic and historic recession. I look forward to working with legislators to launch this program.”

The order will allow the state to prepare its distribution plan for this program while providing the opportunity to work with the Wyoming State Legislature on details before launching the program.

Wyoming 2-1-1 reported a 280% increase in calls for rental assistance last year due to the pandemic.

Similarly, one county relief agency reported providing financial assistance to 349 area families unable to cover rent in the final quarter of 2020, even though 77% of such households were at least partially employed.

At the same time, many Wyoming landlords are left with unpaid back rent, and in some cases, utility bills left unpaid by struggling tenants. This program covers back rent for landlords and reimburses utility companies for unpaid bills.

The Department of Family Services intends to work alongside a coalition of state entities and community stakeholders to ensure that every eligible Wyomingite knows about and has access to the program.

Specifically, the Department of Workforce Services will play an integral role in both the current planning stage and the program’s implementation.

The governor said he is looking forward to working with the Wyoming Legislature when it reconvenes in March to take the final steps to implement this program.

Applications for relief aren’t available at this time.

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Ellen Fike