California gets $18 million from federal program for farmworker housing
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced $26 million to help provide safe and sanitary housing for farmworkers in nine affordable rental communities in four states. The funding will support 439 rental units in California, Florida, Kansas and Texas.
“American agriculture is grateful to the individuals working in the fields, day-in and day-out, to grow and harvest the food we eat,” Vilsack said. “Since 2009, USDA has invested $268 million to build or repair more than 2,000 affordable homes for farmworkers nationwide. USDA, under the Obama Administration, is proud of its efforts to help ensure farmworkers and their families have safe, adequate housing. Every year, agricultural workers who are immigrants come to the United States for the opportunity to work, pay taxes and fully contribute to this country’s economy, many with a dream of someday becoming American citizens. America’s farmers, ranchers and the businesses supporting our rural communities depend on these hardworking individuals to ensure we remain a productive, food-secure nation. That is why we need comprehensive immigration reform today – because a food-secure nation with a thriving, growing economy is a more secure nation.”
Funding of each affordable rental community announced today is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.
Six farmworker housing projects in California have been awarded $18 million in loans from the USDA’s Farm Labor Housing Loan and Grant program to help qualified organizations develop housing for farmworkers, make housing repairs, and provide household furnishings.
A total of $26 million was provided nationwide. The California loan recipients are:
- Mutual Housing of California – $3 million loan. Funds will be used to develop 39 affordable apartments in Woodland, Calif.
- The Community Revitalization and Development Corporation – $3 million loan. Funds will be used to develop 58 affordable apartments in Bakersfield, Calif.
- Corporation for Better Housing, LP – $3 million loan. Funds will be used to develop 72 affordable apartments in Ukiah, Calif.
- Corporation for Better Housing – $3 million loan. Funds will be used to develop 68 affordable apartments in MacFarland, Calif.
- Corporation for Better Housing – $3 million loan. Funds will be used to develop 64 affordable apartments in Greenfield, Calif.
- Pacific Southwest Community Development Corporation – $3 million loan. Funds will be used to develop 60 affordable apartments in Calexico, Calif.
The program has a track record of success in California. To help relieve a shortage of affordable housing in Calistoga, Calif., the Corporation for Better Housing last year utilized a Farm Labor Housing Loan and Grant Program loan to open the doors to a 48-unit Net Zero Energy farm labor housing complex. The state-of-the-art project generates as much energy as it uses through a large solar array and other energy-efficient features, leaving residents with nearly non-existent utility bills. The complex recently received a Gold Nugget Award of excellence at the PCBC (Pacific Coast Builders Conference) home-building trade show.