A Guidebook and Tool for "Do It Yourself" Code Changes
Wyoming | 2020
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At the 2018 Community Builders Leadership Institute in Lander, Wyoming, teams from across the state came together to problem–solve issues in their community. While the communities at the training were tasked with a variety of challenges, every team shared a common struggle– providing their community with a range of housing options that locals could afford. Digging deeper, many communities also had code and regulations in place that prevented them from achieving their housing goals.
In response to these issues, Community Builders partnered with the Wyoming Business Council’s Housing Network to develop a set of tools and resources to help Wyoming communities fix their code in a DIY fashion. The goal was to create a toolkit where communities state-wide could identify their code issues and develop high-level solutions all on their own.
The Breaking the Code Toolkit is composed of two pieces: (1) the DIY Code Audit Tool, and (2) a detailed guidebook. We selected two Wyoming communities, Lander and Lovell, to use the toolkit in a guided process for achieving their housing goals. To aid in the project, we formed leadership committees in both Lander and Lovell that led processes to learn more about the community’s housing issues. Along the way, we interviewed developers and builders to learn about some of the issues they’ve identified with regulations.
With all of this supporting information in hand, we worked with these leadership groups through the DIY audit process, and created a list of strategies to amend their codes to align with the community’s housing wants and needs. By guiding these communities through using the tool, we were able to keep an eye on the tool’s success, while also ensuring both communities left the process with quality results.
Both Lander and Lovell are at the end of their projects and are in the process of approving and implementing their code changes. The Breaking the Code Toolkit has been released across Wyoming, but much of the information is helpful for communities across the American West.