The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors will seek a state grant to try to provide more housing options for farmworkers in the county, including those affected by January's mass shootings at two Half Moon Bay farms.
Supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to apply for $5 million from the Joe Serna, Jr. Farmworker Housing Grant Program, which is a competitive grant available to all California counties.
The money would be used to purchase pre-manufactured houses that would be designated for farmworkers. The county is also exploring a partnership with the city of Half Moon Bay to fulfill the grant and identify potential sites for the houses.
"The Joe Serna grant program represents a tremendous opportunity for the county," said board president Supervisor Dave Pine. "If state funding is granted, we can begin to address the chronic housing shortage among our essential agricultural workforce."
Recipients are eligible if 50 percent or more of their family income comes from agricultural sources, according to the state Department of Housing and Community Development.
Grant winners will be announced by the state in June.
Meanwhile, 38 farmworkers and family members displaced by the shootings in January are being supported with temporary housing and services for at least the next year. The assistance is partially funded through funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, but the cost of the year-long expenditure is still underfunded by $750,000.
A task force was established last month with the goal of identifying unpermitted farmworker housing in the county. Unpermitted housing at the two farms where the shootings took place drew scrutiny due to unsanitary conditions.