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"California isn't California without our farmworkers – not only are they our state's economic backbone, but they help us produce over a third of our country's vegetables and three-quarters of the country's fruits and nuts. Our farmworkers have our backs – now it's time we have theirs," said Governor Newsom. "These grants will help make the California Dream a reality for dozens of farmworkers by helping them become homeowners – and help them lay a foundation for future generations to build upon."
The Department of Housing and Community Development awarded today's grants through the Joe Serna, Jr. Housing Grant program to advance homeownership development projects, self-help technical assistance projects, mortgage assistance programs, and programs for the acquisition of manufactured housing for agricultural workers.
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Half Moon Bay in San Mateo County will receive $5 million to purchase homes for survivors of the tragic Half Moon Bay farm shooting in January. The remaining funds will be distributed among Fresno County, Santa Maria, Watsonville, Kern, Madera and Merced counties.
Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez said: "Agricultural workers are integral to the vitality of California and its economy, yet too often they face housing insecurity that can increase the likelihood of job loss. These awards will create homeownership opportunities which leads to greater housing and economic stability for these essential workers – strengthening ties to their local communities, and allowing their families to create generational wealth."
HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez added: "Farmworkers play a vital role in California's economy and communities; it is an honor to play a part in expanding opportunities for homeownership for them and their families."
San Mateo County Supervisor Ray Mueller expressed his gratitude: "We are so grateful to Governor Newsom and the State of California for this vital influx of resources in support of our efforts to ensure that every farm working family in Half Moon Bay and San Mateo County is living with dignity in safe, healthy, and affordable housing."
The Joe Serna Jr. Housing Grant Program was established by Governor Newsom as part of his commitment to expand access to affordable housing across California. This grant program is designed specifically with agricultural workers in mind as it seeks to provide them with more secure housing options while also helping them build generational wealth through home ownership.
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