The USDA has released internal guidance on changes made to farm labor housing eligibility. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 amended a section of the Housing Act of 1949 to extend the Farm Labor Housing tenant eligibility to agricultural workers legally admitted into the United States and authorized to work in agriculture. Due to this change, domestic laborers legally admitted into the country under an H-2A work visa are now eligible for state-inspected housing.
Representative Dan Newhouse praised the move.
“Labor scarcity is a growing problem for agriculture producers nationwide, and improving access to legal guest workers is a top priority for farmers in Central Washington,” said Newhouse. “I applaud USDA’s announcement that it is implementing my legislation to allow housing to be used for both domestic and legally-admitted temporary workers.”
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue said finding adequate housing for temporary agriculture workers has always been a challenge faced by our producers.
“The seasonal workers coming to the United States do tremendous work for American agriculture,” Perdue said. “I’m pleased that USDA programs can now better assist farmers needing to provide housing while they’re here. I thank Congress for addressing this issue in its most recent funding bill and hope to continue the conversation on farm labor for the agriculture industry.”
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