Migrant Farmworker Housing
I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
WAFLA's Dan Fazio is passionate about ag issues and one of those issues is migrant farmworker housing, something that always seems to be in great demand and short supply. Fazio says there's a very nice 76 bed migrant housing facility that just opened up in Granger that they could fill tomorrow, but it remains empty.
FAZIO: Because the grant program that they used was a USDA 514 Grant, and the USDA has come out and said that they do not allow foreign guest workers in their facilities.
That's a law Fazio says absolutely needs to change.
FAZIO: Right now we've got a beautiful facility in Granger that is empty, and the Yakima Housing Authority is loosing quite a bit of money on it. So, we're working right now to try and get Congress actually to change that stipulation on the 514 program that the USDA has chosen incorrectly to place on the housing where they give grants to build rural housing.
There is also a new migrant housing facility in Cashmere.
FAZIO: The one up in Cashmere is open for everybody - walk ins, reservations. They have a system where they keep a certain number of beds available for walk ins and then they let a certain number be reserved; more like a hotel is run, and that's the way you see most of the successful ones being run.
The new $6 million 200 bed Cashmere facility opens this month, and could eventually replace a 380 bed migrant worker camp in Monitor. It will be operated by the Washington Growers League of Yakima and was built with a Washington Department of Commerce grant.
That's Washington Ag Today.
I'm Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.