Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that USDA is investing $29 million to provide affordable housing for farm laborers and their families, including a $3 million investment in Oregon.
“Housing is often the first step on the road to more economic prosperity for farmworker families,” Vilsack said. “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.”
USDA is providing this assistance through the Farm Labor Housing Loan and Grant program. Financing is available to qualified organizations to develop housing for domestic farm laborers. The funding is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of their agreements. USDA also provides rental assistance to help very-low-income families afford the monthly rent.
Through the current announcement, USDA is awarding $20.7 million in loans and $8.3 million in grants for 10 projects in six states. When completed, the properties will provide 320 farmworker families with new homes. Rental assistance will be offered for 315 of the new housing units.
In Oregon, the Farmworker Housing Development Cooperation will receive a $1 million loan and a $2 million grant from USDA Rural Development. This funding will be used toward the development of Garden City Apartments in Silverton, a 20-unit complex for farmworkers and their families. According to the developer, CASA of Oregon, the apartment will meet a critical need by providing the first new farmworker housing complex in the area. In addition, 19 of the 20 units will receive rental assistance, ensuring low-income tenants pay no more than 30 percent of their income toward housing.
President Obama’s historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger. Under his leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.