Funding for Building Farm Labor Housing

“We are seeking to address a need that we’ve heard from across the country related to a need for more farm labor and stable, affordable suitable house for that workforce.”

What USDA Rural Development Undersecretary Basil Gooden is referring to is a recent Notice of Funding $48 million for farm labor housing.

“We have two components. We have the on-farm component of farm labor housing, and then the off-farm farm labor housing.”

And regarding the breakdown of funding…

“$43 million would be made available for the off-farm farm labor housing component, and that can be utilized by nonprofit organizations, by farmers, federally recognized tribes, individuals that are in the housing arena, to actually provide housing that will go for farm labor workforce and their families.”

Funding applicants have until July 3 to submit proposals for the off-farm labor housing program with details via the Federal Register. On-farm labor housing funding applicants are accepted on an ongoing basis with information available via the programs and services tab on the home page.

“When we talk about the farm labor workforce, it’s individuals that are either currently involved in agriculture or farm labor or retired from farm labor given some restrictions or disabled from farm labor and their families.’

The undersecretary adds that priorities for application consideration include projects reducing climate pollution and increasing climate resiliency, equitable access to rural development programs and benefits and increased market opportunities and infrastructure for rural economies. He notes the importance of partnership in developing and constructing farm labor housing.

“We invest in solutions that come from our partners, certainly housing, nonprofits, collaboration, partnerships are just critical to the work that we do. We actually partner with national programs, housing programs and some of our partners like HACC. We also work with entities that look at preserving housing and housing preservation is a key component of what we do as well.”