WASHINGTON D,C. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture(USDA) has opened its wallet and dished out $26 million to help provide what is being called “safe and sanitary housing” for farmworkers in nine rental communities in four states. The Feds say that the funding will support 439 rental units in California, Florida, Kansas and Texas.
The labor crisis in agriculture, largely due to a lack of immigration reform say experts, has been exacerbated by the lack of affordable housing for piecework farm laborers. This could soften the blow.
“American agriculture is grateful to the individuals working in the fields, day-in and day-out, to grow and harvest the food we eat,” says Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “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.”
Vilsack went on to say that agricultural workers who are immigrants come to the United States for the opportunity to work every year. They pay taxes and contribute to the 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,” says Vilsack.
The funding is provided through the Farm Labor Housing Loan and Grant program. It will help qualified organizations develop housing for farmworkers, make housing repairs and provide household furnishings.
Funding of each affordable rental community is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.
Here is a complete list of recipients from the four states:
- 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 McFarland, 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.
- Homestead Housing Authority – $1.5 million loan and $1.5 million grant. Funds will be used to develop 20 affordable apartments in Redlands Center, Fla.
- Builders Development Corporation – $1.7 million loan and $1.1 million grant. Funds will be used to develop 18 affordable apartments in Ulysses, Kan.
- Housing and Economic Rural Opportunity, Inc. – $2.5 million loan. Funds will be used to develop 40 affordable apartments in Socorro, Texas.
Datatech supports agribusiness, which doesn’t get done without a paid and trained labor force. Datatech software for farm accounting and farm payroll supports farm labor and simplifies the complexities of reporting and paying for piecework completed, ACA filing and many other accounting demands of farming and shipping fresh produce.