Redwood City – The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors today put $1 million toward an expanding effort to build affordable housing for local farmworkers.
“We are 100 percent committed to this effort,” said San Mateo County Supervisor Ray Mueller, whose District 3 includes most of the county’s agricultural land. “This $1 million represents the start-up costs necessary to move forward with speed.”
The funds, from the local Measure K half-cent sales tax, will help cover the costs necessary for planning, project management and other work. The County is seeking $5 million in state funds from the Joe Serna, Jr. Farmworker Housing Grant Program as part of the overall effort to improve the living conditions for coastal farmworkers.
That effort gained urgency following the tragic Jan. 23, 2023, shooting at two coastal farms that killed seven people and critically injured one. The mass shooting called attention to farmworkers living in crowded conditions in unpermitted facilities, a situation numerous local officials called unacceptable.
The County is currently working with the City of Half Moon Bay to identify and develop a potential site that could house 45 to 50 manufactured housing units for low-income farmworker households.
Mueller said he also expects grant monies from the state toward building affordable homes for local farmworkers.
“All of our farm working families deserve a safe and healthy place to live. If we are going to ensure that we maintain a thriving agricultural community on our coast, what we need more than anything else are affordable homes for our farmworkers and their families.”