Posted November 10, 2014
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $29 million to provide affordable housing for farm laborers and their families, according to a USDA release available here. Agri-Pulse also published an article available hereand Ag Journal Online here.
“Housing is often the first step on the road to more economic prosperity for farmworker families. These loans and grants will significantly improve the lives of farmworkers, who are vital to America’s agriculture sector. This program is one of many tools that USDA has to strengthen the rural economy, which will help bring a brighter future for children from farmworker families,” said Vilsack.
USDA is awarding $20.7 million in loans and $8.3 million in grants for 10 projects in six states. The properties will provide 320 farmworker families with new homes, and rental assistance will be offered for 315 of the new housing units after completion, according to Agri-Pulse.
Assistance is provided to the USDA through the Farm Labor and Housing Loan and Grant program.
I have witnessed firsthand the way these loans and grants help farmworkers and their communities,” said Tony Hernandez, administrator of USDA’s Rural Housing Service, which runs the Farm Labor Housing program.
USDA Rural Development provided a $3.3 million low-interest Farm Labor Housing loan to build Villa Hermosa, apartment-style housing for migrant workers in Indio, California, according to Ag Journal Online.
The $3 million loan USDA announced will fund the second phase of construction at Villa Hermosa by financing 68 more apartments for the remaining occupants. Phase Two will have units equipped with heat and air conditioning, private patios, washer/dryers, dishwashers, a community center, a garden, playgrounds, and a computer lab.