State Gets Farm Worker Housing Program Award

“Washington has been recognized for “extraordinary collaborative and innovative efforts in using housing and community development-related resources,” for the state’s farm worker housing program, according to Governor Gary Locke.The award for the state’s farm worker housing program was presented by the Council of State Development Agencies, a Washington, D.C.-based organization composed of state community development agencies nationwide.Locke established a Cabinet-level task force to develop a long-term farm worker housing strategy. The task force built the first state-funded migrant housing project in Washington, with 26 units of temporary migrant housing in Mattawa.The state said it provided food, water, housing, transportation and medical assistance to homeless migrant farm worker families in the Mattawa area. It implemented a rent-a-tent program, renting OSHA-compliant tents to growers for temporary shelter for farm employees during harvest season.The state designed and funded an infrastructure loan program for growers to invest in housing for farm labor employees and developed a Web site and a toll-free telephone number to provide information regarding the development process and regulations for farm worker housing.”