There is a very good reason businesses in Cody, especially in the travel and entertainment industries are having trouble finding employees.

It costs more to live here than businesses can afford to pay employees.

The fact that unemployment in Park County was only 3% in August, plus the fact there were 280 fewer workers in the county than there were in July points out the obvious.

People who need to work to live here, but don’t have the marketable skills for one of Park County’s higher paying jobs, simply can’t afford housing here and they are moving away.

The need for employees has pressured businesses in the county to increase wages dramatically, but it still isn’t enough.

That translates into Cody desperately needing affordable housing.

Cody has always been a very desirable place to live. Since the pandemic, its desirability is increasing even more. Hence, the people who have the financial means are willing to pay the higher housing costs.

This is a similar situation to what has been going on in Jackson, Bozeman and Boulder, Colo., and other desirable places for years.

Forward Cody and James Klessens, president and CEO of that organization, recently began forming a task force to work on ways to provide affordable housing. We wish them success.

The Cody Housing Network and its volunteer board of directors including Cody Mayor Matt Hall,  Park County Commissioner Dossie Overfield, Cody Regional Health CEO Doug McMillan,  former bank CEO Doug Weedin and State Rep. Sandy Newsome will begin to address the issues of low-income housing, seasonal workforce housing and other housing issues.

Without affordable housing, the success of the businesses Forward Cody recruits will be in jeopardy.

The lack of affordable housing is a major problem.

It does mean, however, that Cody is a very desirable place to live.

 

(17) comments

Arlie Sorenson

Ms. Trudo, while your exuberant cries of "wahoo" are cute, most everyone else around her in the know cry out "boo" And least they rhyme......

Ashley Trudo

Am I hearing you correctly? It's Forward Cody's fault that there was an opioid crisis and Cody Labs shut down? Or that Yeezy is leaving? Really?!?Oh, and I'm not sure you saw the comment below, but accomplishments off the top of my head include: (1) Incubator building leased and rent paid for 1 full year. (2) Weekly Wednesday work shops & business trainings being offered @TheSquare (3) Elk Plaza launced - great networking space, (3) Gunwerks Funding provided and building built (4) Gunwerks placed 3 new CNC machines in service-now employ 69 people (5) Annually host events for state legislature and local networking (unfortunatally not last year or this year due to COVID), (6) Wy Authentic products launched in 1250 stores! Wahoo! (7) Housing task force created, because it was the right thing to do, not because FC had to

kevin ceceralli

how many $$$$ of PUBLIC money has been allocated to Backward Cody? Every time I get taxed on something, either sales or income, does part of my payment go into the pocket of these people?

Edward Abraham

Let's get serious. Forward Cody (FC) was never setup to be a serious economic driver. It was created as a feel good, look at us "were trying" outfit that had neither the intention or the ability to created a business buzz here. Other than empty (and expensive) buildings, what has FC done for this town? Go ask any successful business here what FC did for them? Most of these folks acted as their own economic drivers.......the few that did approach FC will tell you that they received back nothing but blank stares and/or jive talk. Not all of these community economic development outfits are bad. Look across the mountain at Sheridan, they brought in Weatherby. Our amateurs here tied their last hope to a flaky rapper. I agree with Scott Weber - time to dismantle the embarrassment and either call it a day or bring in real professionals

Dewey Vanderhoff

Affordable Housing in Cody and everywhere else would not be an issue if we had a foolproof vaccine for GREED. That vaccine if developed should also be mandatory for everyone . First doses should go into the arms of Wall Street execs, followed by the world's 3,000+ billionaires . Doesn't matter if it's the building and structure(s) , or just the dirt it's sitting on , property values are phantoms. A tyrannical form of Origami played with little pieces of paper at the Courthouse and the banks.

The cost of housing in Cody is more than a little outrageous. Always has been , in my lifetime anyway. We think we are worth more than we are worth around here.

Scott Weber

Fed-up citizens are now circulating a petition to the Governor of the State of Wyoming is have "Forward Cody" REMOVED from our town. Their list of failures is unconscionable. If you doubt this, gauge your reaction when you drive down the West Strip and Big Horn Avenue.... Two HUGE vacant buildings are a constant reminder of many ruined dreams - families and businesses. Just think of the 136 workers from the former Cody Labs that were put on the street and had to leave Wyoming. Forward Cody? Backwards Cody is a more apt description... We will have them removed.

Tom Conners

Cody people should have done their homework on klessens after his failures in Hardin,Mt. before turning the carpetbagger loose in Cody...eh?

Ashley Trudo

Dear Keith, Chris, and Scott, I would like to know what you suggest happen in Park County to accomplish attainable housing? I understand there may be other ways to do this, but the words spoken above are demeaning, harsh, and do no good to anyone other than put people down. I don't usually comment on here but if you were my sons I would be ashamed. Join a/the task force, make suggestions and let's try to be nice. - Sincerely, Mother of 2 boys.

JD Olson

Well, Ashley, why don't you fire off all of those Forward Cody accomplishments? You can't. But anyway, please feel free to add me to the list of folks you're ashamed of......alll because we call out the absurdity of of this "economic engine" (said with tongue in cheek) Forward Cody

Ashley Trudo

Dear JD, Recent Accomplishments off the top of my head include: (1) Incubator building leased and rent paid for 1 full year. (2) Weekly Wednesday work shops & business trainings being offered @TheSquare (3) Elk Plaza launced - great networking space, (3) Gunwerks Funding provided and building built (4) Gunwerks placed 3 new CNC machines in service-now employ 69 people (5) Annually host events for state legislature and local networking (unfortunatally not last year or this year due to COVID), (6) Wy Authentic products launched in 1250 stores! Wahoo! (7) Housing task force created, because it was the right thing to do, not because FC had to

Bob Smith

YOU TELL'em, ASHLEY .....or not, LOL

Mildred Brown

Ashley, may I ask, what is your favorite flavor of koolaid? It's obvious that you are imbedded deep within the myth of Forward Cody. Us on the 'outside', well, all we've seen are empty promises, empty buildings and empty hope. you must have extraterrestrial vision to be seeing filled positions and filled building in which we cannot. Is there some invisible to the untrained eye economy around here that only you and your cronies can see? What we can see is our empty wallets with the taxpayer money your force has extracted from us.

Keith Van Renschler

Forward Cody has put together a task force? Really? And we're supposed to be both impressed and giddy? Until this paper can name one viable project that this one horse outfit Forward Cody has put together, I urge the publisher to refrain from any pre celebration. Forward Cody has only created one good job in what - 16 years? Guess who has that job...

Chris Dalton

Another Forward Cody task force? Great, just great. let's have a taxpayer funded retreat for those task force members, maybe at Monster Lake and dress'em all up in Yeazy. Don't worry, members, you won't accomplish anything and nobody expected you to....

Mitch Asay

Matt Hall our wonderful and strong supporter of Cody citizens Not so much!

Scott Weber

Having Forward Cody work on "creating" any kind of housing is akin to having them rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic....

Having Forward Cody "trying to find a solution" will only result in more failures. Namely, more VACANT buildings in the town of Cody.

Mitch Asay

Forward Cody stands for, I'll help you if you help me, we need people on the so called affordable housing board that have a hard time making a living in Cody, not just the elite, or public officials,.

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