By Elizabeth Zach, RCAC staff writer
California Assembly committee members this month debated the Farm Worker Housing Act of 2019, allowing the legislation to advance to more legislative review.
“I grew up in farm worker housing, living with seven to ten members of my family right beside the vineyard where my grandfather worked,” Assembly member Robert Rivas (D-Hollister), the bill’s author, said during a press conference. “This bill would make a significant difference in the lives of those who work the fields like my grandfather once did.”
The proposed law would ease restrictions on developers seeking to build housing for farm workers. Agricultural land owners could build housing on their property without having to rezone the land for residential use.
According to labor and housing advocates, 22,000 farm workers in California are without decent housing, and resort to sleeping in cars, tents or overcrowded apartments because they have no other affordable options.