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USDA Financing Available for Farm Labor Housing

Leigh Hallett
Release Date

BANGOR, Maine, May 9, 2024 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is inviting applications for loans and grants to build new housing and to repair, improve, or modify existing USDA-financed farm labor housing. The agency encourages applications that will advance Biden-Harris Administration priorities to reduce climate pollution and increase resilience to the impacts of climate change, ensure all rural residents have equitable access to USDA programs, and help rural communities recover economically through better market opportunities and improved infrastructure.

Recently USDA Rural Development Maine State Director Rhiannon Hampson addressed agricultural stakeholder groups about the funding opportunity. “We know that Maine’s housing shortage affects employers across the spectrum,” said Director Hampson. “We encourage everyone engaged in agricultural production to look at these programs to identify areas of collaboration and support. Talk with your partners, co-ops, associations, town governments, and fellow farmers to see if there’s a way to include these programs in your labor planning.”

USDA’s On-Farm Labor Housing Program offers long-term, low interest loans to farmers for new construction and preservation of housing units for farmworkers. Farm owners, family farm partnerships, farm corporations, and associations of farmers are eligible for this funding. (Learn more online at this website: https://tinyurl.com/2zdfd2pj.) On Tuesday, May 14 at 1:00 p.m. ET, USDA will host a workshop about On-Farm Labor Housing Loans. To register for the webinar, visit the registration webpage. USDA will accept applications under this program on an on-going basis, until funds are exhausted.

USDA’s Off-Farm Labor Housing Program provides loans and competitive grants to nonprofits, community organizations, local governments, and federally recognized tribes for new construction of housing units for farmworkers. More information on this funding opportunity is available on page 28717 of the April 19 Federal Register and online at this website: https://tinyurl.com/6us6zpa5. Questions may be directed to MFH.ProgramSupport@usda.gov. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, July 3, 2024, at 12:00 p.m. ET.

The Off-farm Labor Housing Program also is currently accepting applications for loans and grants to repair existing USDA-financed multifamily housing properties for year-round and seasonal domestic farmworkers. Farmers, nonprofits, local governments, and federally recognized Tribes can apply for grants and loans of up to $40K per unit. The funding may be used to make improvements, repairs and/or modifications to address accessibility compliance and health and safety issues. For more information, see page 19400 of the March 18, 2024, Federal Register. Applications must be submitted by 12 p.m. ET on June 18, 2024.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

A red barn is shown with a white sign reading Spear Farms Inc.
Fifth-generation Spear Farms Inc. in Nobleboro is one of many farms across Maine that offer on-farm housing to some employees. USDA offers funding to help farms such as this finance housing for workers.