Provides a summary of the progress to date in addressing the housing needs of migrant and seasonal farmworkers in Washington State.
"In the summer of 1998, recognizing the critical need to increase the supply of safe, decent, and affordable housing for migrant and seasonal farmworkers, Governor Gary Locke declared farmworker housing to be on the top housing priority for the state. Locke included $40 million for the development of farmworker housing in his 10-year capital plan, and, in 1999, a legislative proviso established funding for a Farmworker Housing Program within the Housing Trust Fund at the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development" (Abstractor: National Center for Farmworkers Health, Inc.).

Major Findings & Recommendations

“The establishment of the farmworker housing program in 1999, and the commitment of funds dedicated to this purpose, has significantly increased investments in farmworker housing. Since [1998], CTED has committed $38.2 million in state and federal resources to farmworker housing, including $26.4 million for the development of permanent housing and $11.8 million for seasonal and emergency housing for migrant workers. In addition, the Washington State Housing Finance Commission has allocated $10.2 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits for permanent farmworker housing” (p.18). These investments have resulted in the creation of 1,015 units of permanent housing and 4,054 seasonal beds for migrant and seasonal farmworkers. In addition, more than 3,059 bed nights of shelter have been provided through the use of emergency housing vouchers. Funds have also been used to provide technical assistance on the development of on-farm housing for migrant workers” (p.18). “There is more work needed in order to be able to continuously assess the need for additional farmworker housing and to measure our progress in meeting that need” (p.23). The following is a list of recommendations: • “Methodologies should be developed for linking crop production with the demand for labor and the resulting impact on the need for housing on an ongoing basis…” (p.23). • “The state must maintain its commitment to creating partnerships and providing targeted financial and technical assistance that will increase both public and private investments in farmworker housing…” (p.23). • “While maintaining as a priority the need to increase grower investments in on-farm housing, support for community-based and emergency housing must also be sustained…” (p.24). • “The state must continue its collaboration with local governments to develop seasonal housing projects that are responsive to the needs of local communities…” (p.24). • “Increased local capacity and coordination is also needed in order to address the need for more comprehensive services to farmworkers, including childcare, transportation and health care..” (p.24).