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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ON  OCTOBER  05, 2017

Contact(s):
Kristi Jourdan
Public Information Officer
707-253-4111
Kristi.Jourdan@countyofnapa.org
Board of Supervisors


1195 Third Street
Napa, California 94559



Napa County farmworker housing centers receive permanent funding from State

Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 317 into law Wednesday

NAPA – On Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 317 into law, which provides permanent, annual funding to support Napa County’s three farmworker housing centers.  

Beginning in the next budget cycle, the Napa County Housing Authority will receive $250,000 in matching dollars each year. The legislation was sponsored by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters).  

“The success of Napa County’s wine industry begins at the first touch of the grapes by farmworkers, who support the agricultural industry and economy of our community,” said Belia Ramos, Chair of the Napa County Board of Supervisors. “We appreciate the State recognizing Napa County’s efforts and supporting our agricultural workforce.” 

The county farmworker housing program provides seasonal affordable housing for 180 migrant workers in three centers. Residents get three meals a day, literacy, and other training programs, all for just $23 per day total cost and rental cost of $14 per day to each occupant. The increased funding creates sustainability of these programs at a low cost to center residents. 

“Every year, after the harvest is over, we have about 15 center residents who become homeless,” said Angel Calderon, River Ranch manager. “To me, this is truly a public health issue. This money will help keep our three centers open and continue providing housing and services to this population.” 

Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza added, “Because of the relentless advocacy and leadership of Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry, Senator Bill Dodd, the Napa Valley Vintners, and our wine industry partners, we can continue to provide safe, sustainable and affordable seasonal housing for Napa County farmworkers.”

In 2001, the State authorized Napa County to form a County Service Area to raise funds for the purpose of farmworker housing, which generates about $500,000 annually. The industry also taxes itself to provide farmworker housing that benefits our community and surrounding counties. This is the third funding boost the farmworker housing center program has received this year -- an additional $250,000 was included in the State budget, and vineyard owners voted to raise their self-assessment to increase funding. Rising costs and inflation created a funding gap that threatened the centers’ existence.

Napa County is California’s only provider of farmworker housing fully funded by occupant rent and the industry in partnership with local housing funds. 

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The Board of Supervisors and staff of Napa County are dedicated to preserving and sustaining Napa County for present and future generations as a community with generous open space, a thriving agricultural industry and a quality human and natural environment.

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Media Release Summary