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October 1, 2020

Housing for the Harvest Program expands to Kings, Riverside and Tulare counties, providing temporary housing to agriculture workers exposed to COVID-19

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) today announced that the counties of Kings, Riverside and Tulare will participate in Housing for the Harvest, a program announced by Governor Gavin Newsom in July to provide temporary hotel housing options for farm and food processing employees to self-isolate if they are COVID-19 positive and do not require hospitalization, or have been exposed and cannot properly self-isolate at home. Six counties are now participating in Housing for the Harvest: Kings, Riverside, Tulare, Santa Barbara, Fresno and San Joaquin.

The state is securing hotel rooms in participating counties, with local governments identifying administrators to manage the program and local community organizations to provide additional services, like meals, wellness checks and in-language assistance. Local administrators will serve as a point of contact for eligible workers. Local administrators of the program can include a county or city agency, a Native American tribe, a non-profit organization, or a philanthropic organization.  “Counties across the state are stepping up to provide a safe, temporary housing solution to protect agricultural workers who need to isolate,” said CDFA secretary Karen Ross. “These hardworking men and women are on the front lines of the pandemic and it is critical that we protect them, their families, and local communities.”

Housing for the Harvest will ultimately be made available statewide and provide opt-in housing support for any counties or regions that are interested. California has received FEMA approval for this program during the COVID-19 pandemic and will seek federal reimbursement for 75 percent of hotel costs.   Read more