Farm Labor Housing in Williams Welcomes Families Home

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Sarah Marquart
(916) 798-9295
Green Valley Homes offers 100 percent NZE to residents in Williams, Calif.

Esther Magdaleno often paid more than $100 per month for electricity before she moved into the farm labor housing community built by Green Valley Homes, developed by Corporation for Better Housing, located in Williams.

Green Valley Homes based their community on energy conservation best practices and is one of the largest Zero Net Energy (ZNE) LEED Platinum home developments in California, and one of the few in the Nation.

Green Valley Homes incorporated the use of solar panels to achieve 100 percent ZNE for both residential and common areas, and all houses are equipped with energy star rated appliances.

Now, Esther pays only $10 per month for electricity.

The community consists of 40 single family farm labor houses, which means all residents earn a portion of their income from farm labor. As an additional bonus, the community is located near schools, parks and shopping, leading to higher walkability.

This development is more than just energy efficient though, the houses have become homes to the families who live here.

Hortencia Robles, a single mother of three, was getting by paycheck to paycheck before she was selected to live in one of the Green Valley Homes.

“I could not believe it was really happening, we had been struggling so much,” said Robles. “Green Valley Homes has helped me provide more for my family because of the lower cost of rent and utilities.”

Affordable rent is offered to all residents who live in apartments and communities that are built though USDA’s Multi-Family Housing Farm Labor Housing Direct Loan and Grant program.  

USDA Rural Developments Rental Assistance program further alleviates the financial burden on qualified residents by limiting the maximum rent to 30 percent of their income.   

Green Valley Homes was awarded a $3 million loan at 1 percent fixed rate through USDA’s Multi-Family Housing Farm Labor Housing Direct Loan and Grant program. The program provides affordable financing to develop housing for year-round and migrant or seasonal domestic farm laborers.

The community opened in late 2017 and is 100 percent occupied.

Fast Facts

Obligation Amount$3 Million
Date of ObligationSeptember 2014
Congressional DistrictRepresentative Garamendi (CA-03)
Senator's Last NamesFeinstein, Harris