Sacramento, CA – Today, the California State Legislature approved the 2017-18 State Budget, with $250,000 included to support farmworker housing in Napa County. Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D – Winters) and Senator Bill Dodd (D – Napa) championed this funding proposal, which will provide much needed support to the Napa farmworker community and allow the three farmworker housing centers to remain open.
"The Napa farmworker centers meet a critical housing need for the entire agricultural region, and the general lack of affordable housing has only exacerbated the problem," according to Aguiar-Curry. "It is important that we support this housing program, because these workers are at the heart of our agricultural community in the Napa region. Investing in this innovative housing model is good for California."
The State initially invested in the construction of these centers through the Joe Serna Jr. grant program, but has not contributed funding since. The effects of inflation and rising daily operational costs have forced the county to contemplate having to shut down the housing centers. This budget funding will ensure that Napa can continue to provide safe, reliable, and affordable housing for to its agricultural workers.
"Napa County's world renowned wine region wouldn't be what it is today without our hardworking farmworkers," said Senator Dodd. "We need to be able to provide our farmworkers with suitable housing that they rightfully deserve. This has been a priority of mine since my time on the Board of Supervisors, and I appreciate Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry's partnership in securing passage of this critical farmworker support."
"Napa County is appreciative of Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry and Senator Dodd's efforts to champion funding for the farmworker community," said Belia Ramos, Chair Napa County Board of Supervisors. "Providing safe and affordable housing opportunities is a priority of the Board of Supervisors, and we are proud to partner with our local wine industry and now the State of California to operate centers that support the backbone of our economy. We hope our program will become a model for other California communities."
The budget bill will now go directly to the Governor's desk for final action on the proposal.
Aguiar-Curry represents the 4th Assembly District, which includes all of Lake and Napa Counties, parts of Colusa County, all of Yolo County except West Sacramento, Dixon in Solano County and Rohnert Park in Sonoma County. www.asm.ca.gov/aguiar-curry
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Yolo, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Sacramento, and Contra Costa Counties. www.sen.ca.gov/dodd
John Ferrera (Aguiar-Curry): 916-402-8900
Ezrah Chaaban (Dodd): 916-651-4003