Cheyenne Mayor Rick Kaysen says a decline in residential building permits in the city this year shows housing "supply is starting to catch up with demand."

The mayor says residential building permits for the first six months of 2016 are down by 38 from last year. The city issued 281 such permits for the first six months of 2015, compared to 243 through June of this year, according to the mayor.

He said those numbers don't include roofing permits, because those permits tend to be weather related and in Cheyenne are especially tied to the number of severe hail storms which may have hit the area in a given time.

But the mayor says the somewhat lower number of other residential permits issued this year compared to last year is good news in the sense that it might be an indicator that a long-term housing shortage is easing and because of that builders aren't starting as many residential projects.

Several studies over the past few years have shown the city has a housing shortage.

As recently as last month Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dale Steenbergen said the lack of affordable housing was a problem for economic development efforts. He says that's because young families who are an important part of the workforce have a hard time finding a place to live in Laramie County.

In those same comments Steenbergen said a lot of Air Force members stationed at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne are forced to live in Fort Collins, Colorado.

He said the fact that members of a military unit who may have to respond quickly in an emergency are living in another community speaks to a lack of housing in Cheyenne.

More From KGAB