Santa Clara County is working to expand housing for essential food production and farm workers

sanjosespotlight.com

#: housing, agricultural, food, essential, workers

 With the depth of a tight housing market, and knowing the burden many household are struggling with to pay the bills: it's nice to share some good housing news!

 

With all parts of our community in a new tight spot from the pandemic, it is especially tough on our essential and susceptible food production workers.

With new zoning and fee structures approved: Santa Clara County is making it easier to building housing for agricultural workers.

Darlene Tenes, an organizer and advocate with the Farmworker Caravan states: "It’s not just housing, it’s life and death.We have a lot more migrant farmworkers than people realize. [There are about 400,000 to 800,000 migrant farmworkers living and working in California. But while some counties have an idea of how many workers live in and travel through their borders, there is no solid estimate of how there are in Santa Clara County at any given time.]

"I don’t think people have any idea. It’s a shadow community because many are undocumented and some of them are from indigenous communities, so they don’t speak Spanish. Basically, they’re not going to go to government agencies to get HUD money or other government services.”

"Until the zoning changes approved by the Board of Supervisors Oct. 20, only permanent farm housing was allowed. Projects required a use permit that cost $14,000 and took up to nine months to receive. Permanent housing includes both single family homes or buildings that are set up like apartments with common areas.

The county will now require a simpler and cheaper special permit or planning clearance, costing $500 to $6,000, depending on whether the project is for short-term or long-term housing."

Seeing the government and city council members creating new paths to build, cheaper costs, and showing the priority to safely house so many in our population is fantastic. 

Full article by
by Madelyn Reese HERE!