Laying the Foundation for Affordable Farmer Housing

Project Overview

ONE22-414
Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2022: $30,000.00
Projected End Date: 08/01/2023
Grant Recipient: Faith Gilbert Cooperative Consulting
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
Faith Gilbert
Faith Gilbert Cooperative Consulting

Commodities

Not commodity specific

Practices

  • Education and Training: farmer to farmer, focus group, networking, participatory research, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: other
  • Sustainable Communities: community development, community planning, community services, leadership development, partnerships, quality of life

    Proposal abstract:

    A housing crisis has emerged in New York State’s Hudson Valley, as Covid-related migration from urban centers has greatly inflated rent prices and seriously limited the amount of available housing.  Our network of small sustainable farmers and farmworkers is suffering this crisis in unique ways, as workers are turning down jobs due to an inability to afford housing nearby - and farmers are considering relocating to other regions or leaving agriculture altogether.  

    This project seeks to develop an informed working group of farmers and farmworkers that is prepared to take action on developing affordable, farmer-focused housing solutions.  Resource mapping and surveying our farmer network’s housing needs are the first steps, followed by a community learning series that will prepare farmers and farmworkers to take advisory or organizing roles in addressing these needs.

    This project is led by a team of farmer-organizers with significant professional capacity and community trust, and will be advised by professionals with decades of experience in developing housing.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    This project seeks to develop an informed working group of farmers and farmworkers that is prepared to take action on developing housing solutions.  Our goals include:

    1. Convening an active working group of 12-15 farmers and farmworkers to offer feedback and advising on potential housing solutions. 
    2. Disseminating a survey of farmer housing needs.
    3. Documenting housing needs of the working group members as written case studies for consultants and support professionals to reference.
    4. Developing a support network of consultants and service providers to assist the farmer working group in pursuing housing options.
    5. Developing and hosting a 10-session digital community learning series on the subjects of affordable, farmworker, and cooperative housing, attended by the working group and up to 50 additional participants.
    6. Documenting farmer and farmworker feedback on the types of housing solutions and information presented in the learning series, yielding critical data for next steps.
    7. Hosting an in-person convening of the working group, service providers and supporters to develop next steps as our project concludes.
    8. Compiling publicly available research and findings, including (a) the curriculum and digital recordings of the learning sessions, (b) summary of farmer feedback, and (c) a resource list on affordable, farmworker, and cooperative housing information and related organizations. 
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.