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Berman Champions State Funding for Farmworker Housing on the Coastside

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO - Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) secured $2.5 million in the 2023-24 state budget for two affordable farmworker housing projects on the San Mateo County Coast. The funding includes $1.25 million for the City of Half Moon Bay and $1.25 million for San Mateo County for separate farmworker housing projects.

“After the horrendous mass shooting earlier this year highlighted the inhumane living conditions farmworkers are subject to on the Coastside, securing funding for farmworker housing became my top budget priority,” said Assemblymember Marc Berman. “Farmworkers are an essential part of my district, and their wellbeing is fundamental to the prosperity of San Mateo County and all of California. Renting a two-bedroom apartment in Half Moon Bay costs approximately 97% of the median income for a County farmworker, making it practically impossible. This funding will help build two desperately needed farmworker housing projects on the San Mateo County coast and will start to move the needle for the most vulnerable among us.”

“We are so grateful to have advocates at the state like Assemblymember Berman pushing for essential funding streams,” said San Mateo County Supervisor Ray Mueller. “Bringing more dignified housing to farmworkers on the coast is a principal need that I am proud we are all working towards quickly. Assemblymember Berman fought hard for this funding in a tough economic year, and it’s going to make a significant impact.”

 “We are so grateful to Assemblymember Berman for championing our need for additional funding to house farmworkers on the Coastside. We appreciate his continual support of Half Moon Bay projects,” said Half Moon Bay Mayor Deborah Penrose. “By securing $1.25M in this year’s State budget, we will be able to advance planned projects to house displaced farmworkers following the January mass shooting event. Half Moon Bay thrives on agriculture and our farmworkers are a vital component of an industry we are proud to have here on the Coastside. Ensuring they have safe, adequate, comfortable living conditions is a priority area of ours, and this funding will bring us one step closer in providing that.”

San Mateo County farmworkers and their families are among the most economically vulnerable residents in the county due to the high cost of housing and the very limited supply of affordable units. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the City and surrounding Coastside communities is $3,000 a month. The Census block information for the project area indicates that the median farmworker household income is $37,150, which is less than 20% of the County area median income for a family of four. This economic reality has forced choices of desperation, including extreme overcrowding and the use of substandard dwelling spaces. Accordingly, the State, County, and City of Half Moon Bay are committed to providing more safe, affordable and healthy housing for farmworkers.