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Do California ag counties hold solutions to Monterey County farmworker housing crisis?

By Kate Cimini, Salinas Californian, November 23, 2020

“For more than a decade, journalists have chronicled the exorbitant cost of living in Salinas.

“Domestic farmworkers often pack themselves and their families into houses and apartments.

“This overcrowding has resulted in one of the highest populations in the state of children considered homeless under the McKinney-Vento Act, and since the start of the pandemic, pegged as a significant risk factor.

“While Monterey County has struggled with adding farmworker housing over the years, other agricultural counties across California have found ways to incentivize or clear the way for potential developers. Some have created a set of building plans for farmworker housing while others created grants for farmers renovating or adding farmworker housing to their lots.”

San Mateo County offers one such grant program. “Over the past six years, San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley has thrown his weight behind a grant program that aims to defray the cost of building or (re-building) new or existing farmworker housing.

“Horsley said he hoped to put up housing on public land instead of small units scattered around various ranches. That way, he said, the county could offer more wraparound services and better aid the children of farm laborers, who might be disconnected from the internet or other necessary services.”

Read the full article here for details of San Mateo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties’ experiences with streamlined development for farmworker housing. (~6 min.)

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