WASHINGTON, July 13, 2016 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today $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. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will make the announcement later today during an address to the League of United Latin American Citizens' (LULAC) 87th annual national convention.
"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."
Today's 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.
One of the nine recipients, the Homestead Housing Authority in Homestead, Fla., is receiving $3 million - $1.5 million in loans and $1.5 million in grants - to build 20 affordable townhomes in its Redlands Center. This will add to its portfolio of 333 housing units, all of which are funded through USDA Rural Development. In Ulysses, Kan., 18 units will be developed by Builders Development Corporation using $2.8 million in USDA loans and grants.
The Farm Labor Housing Loan and Grant program continues to help improve the quality of life for America's farmworkers.
To help relieve a shortage of affordable housing in Calistoga, Calif., the Corporation for Better Housing last year opened 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, financed in part with USDA's Farm Labor Housing Loan program, recently received a Gold Nugget Award of excellence at the PCBC homebuilding trade show.
Funding of each affordable rental community announced today is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement. Below is a complete list of recipients:
- 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.
Since 2009, USDA Rural Development (@USDARD) has helped 1.1 million rural residents buy homes; funded nearly 7,000 community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities; invested $31.3 billion in 963 electric projects that have financed more than 185,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines serving 4.6 million rural residents; and helped bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 6 million rural residents and businesses. USDA also has invested $11 billion to start or expand 103,000 rural businesses. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/results.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.