Substandard housing conditions are a comtháng issue farm workers face. Not only do many workers live in crowded, unsanitary conditions, but they often lack basic utilities, live in isolated areas far away from important services like health clinics, grocery stores, and public transportation, & in many cases must pay exorbitant rates for rent.
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There are different types of housing that farm workers live sầu in, varying widely based on geographic location, immigration status, etc. The most common types of farm worker housing are:Grower-owned housing: By law, growers are required khổng lồ provide housing for guest workers: non-immigrant seasonal workers on a special temporary visa called H-2A. However, H-2A workers tài khoản for only about 8% of the nation’s agricultural workforce. For the majority of workers living in grower-owned housing, rent is deducted from the farm workers’ paycheck.Privately rented housing: Farm workers in this case pay a private owner for rent.
Inflated Housing Prices
In the case of the latter housing options– grower-owned and privately rented housing–the landowner can have sầu a monopoly on available housing, which allows them to lớn overcharge. This is especially true in isolated rural areas, where other housing options simply don’t exist, and thus workers have sầu no alternative sầu but lớn pay these rates.
For example, in Immokalee, Floridomain authority, this trailer rents for up lớn $500 PER WEEK because of its proximity khổng lồ the parking lot where workers line up in the morning khổng lồ find work.
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Because it’s so expensive sầu, 10 workers will paông chồng into lớn this one trailer in order lớn afford rent. A high ratio of farm workers lớn available utilities leads khổng lồ further problems. For example, multiple people mô tả sinks, bathrooms, showers, cooking and laundry facilities, etc. In terms of health, this is problematic because laông xã of hygiene facilities can promote pesticide exposure và the spread of disease. It’s important for a worker who has been exposed to lớn pesticides to be able khổng lồ shower and wash their clothes, but with so many people living in one building, this can be difficult.
In other places, in order lớn turn a profit, landowners charge rent fees on a per person basis instead of a total for the building. These per-person rates make life even more difficult for farm worker families, who have sầu to pay separately for each child. In general, lachồng of government oversight on housing standards & regulations enables growers & private renters to lớn get away with providing substandard housing.
It is the case that where population density and housing costs are high, such as California, farm worker families migrating for work have resorted lớn living in tents, abandoned buildings, tool sheds, converted school buses và chicken coops.
A 2015 study of the Wake Forest Medical School Center for Worker Health, “NC Hidden Farmworker Labor Camps in North Carolina: An Indicator of Structural Vulnerability,” found that crowding, lachồng of access khổng lồ sufficient bathing facilities, pest infestation, & structural damage are common to dwellings in farmworker labor camps. The study also found that more than one third (37.8%) of the farm worker labor camps were hidden from public view, making the residents even more vulnerable và making the providers of substandard housing less accountable to the public.
Labor Camp on right behind trees; housing development on left across the road – near Wilson, NCTop