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," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Since 2009, USDA has invested $268 million to build or repair more than 2,000 affordable homes for farmworkers nationwide. 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."
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. Recipients include:
-Mutual Housing of California - $3 million loan. Funds will be used to develop 39 affordable apartments in Woodland, 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.