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Project December 16, 2022

Farmworker Housing in America

Authors:

The inspection system of migrant housing for the workers that are the labor of billions of dollars in agricultural products remains fractured, leaving workers living in poor conditions that could cause health problems with little to no recourse. The agencies responsible for inspecting housing vary from state to state, and federal agencies generally become involved only when there are complaints.

Enforcement and oversight is even more scarce and varies by state.

In instances where states do provide some oversight, housing for farmworkers still requires near-constant fixes.

As of today, the system continues to fail those who are at the heart of our food system. The conditions these workers and their families are forced to live in are not just undignified, but at times even fatal.

This project proposes to put into context how widespread the problems are and the long-lasting impact of the lack of enforcement. This project will also put into context those who are truly accountable for the ongoing conditions.

Using records requests across dozens of states and federal agencies, this project will bring together data in a way not done collectively before to both tell this story and serve as a resource for those who serve migrant communities.

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