Bill Hocker | Nov 30, 2015
NVR 3/21/17: Proposed legislation would boost Napa County farmworker housing
NVR 11/29/15: County wants state subsidy for farmworker centers
LTE 12/3/15: Have we no shame?
LTE 12/5/15: Yes, we have a great deal of pride
A $100,000 shortfall in the maintenance of three farmworker housing buildings has the county scrambling to make up the difference either getting the state taxpayers to chip in or have the farmworkers pay more for their daily lodging. There are 525 members of the Napa Valley Vintners. There are 690 members of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers. I don't know how many member of the Napa Valley Farm Bureau or the clubby Winegrowers there are. There is probably a lot of overlap so lets just take the 690 members as a minimum. Divided into the $100,000 that's just a $145/yr increase in the measly $10/acre/yr subsidy already levied on agricultural land owners to subsidize the housing costs of the workers that make their businesses possible. Why is this even an issue? Vintners/Grapegrowers - look at the comments to the online articles. This is a real PR black eye.
Gary Margadant adds:
NapaFi - The Napafication of the Event Center and Farm Labor. Perhaps the solution to the housing problem lives on the doorstep of every Employer (Wineries, Vineyards or Labor Contrators) in Napa County. Maybe they should provide a minimum amount of housing on their farms and business premises for these low paid workers; say housing for 1 person for every 10 acres of vineyard worked or managed. It is easy for owners to secure housing on farm land since it is exempt from CEQA review and a lot of bureaucracy. Manufactured housing on wheels like a small cabin, hooked to septic, electricity and water, just like the Carneros Inn.
David Heitzman adds:
Safety Code Sections 17030 - 17039
is where you find Employee housing code and Napa County does the required yearly inspections. This is not in the building codes and since it is a State Program the County has to (and does) abide by these regulations. You are very correct Gary. Housing could easily be provided by the vineyards/wineries, event centers, or restaurants or hotels --- they could legally even use RVs and/or trailers. The State enforces this as Employee Housing and not specifically Farm Worker Housing.
Cindy Heitzman adds:
Correct. The state has a program that permits