The US Department of Agriculture says it’s approved $6 million in loans and grants to build two affordable housing projects for Oregon farm workers.
The non-profit Columbia Cascade Housing Corporation will receive $3 million - half as a grant, half as a loan - for a building in the Dalles. The Salem-Keizer Community Development Corporation the same amounts for an apartment complex in Silverton.
Rod Hansen is the Housing Programs Director for USDA Rural Development in Portland.
He says to live in the buildings, tenants need to meet certain income requirements and have at least one member of the household qualify as a farmworker.
“They can work on a ranch that has a cow-calf operation, they can work at a nursery, they can work at a processing plant, but in all of those places there has to be an agricultural component,” says Hansen.
Hansen says USDA has helped fund more than two dozen farm worker apartment complexes in Oregon. The most recent project - a 23-unit facility in Forest Grove - is scheduled to open this Thursday.