Farmworker housing tax credit set to expire

Farmworker housing tax credit set to expire
By Oregon Family Farm Association

The Oregon farmworker housing tax credit is set to expire in 2014. The credit encourages developers to build affordable, safe housing for farmworkers and their families. If passed, House Bill 3168 would extend that credit through 2020.

The Farmworker Housing Tax Credit, established in 1989, gives state income tax credit to organizations or individuals who incur costs to construct, rehabilitate, or install farmworker housing. The tax credit may be taken on 50 percent of the costs incurred. The state has an annual $7.25 million cap on the program.

Capital Press reports that approximately 1,264 housing units have been built using the tax credit. Units may house multiple families.

Karen Tolvstad, an Oregon Housing and Community Services administrator, says about 100,000 migrant and seasonal workers live in Oregon during the peak growing season. Only about 9 percent live in dedicated, affordable housing.

Aria Seglimann, also with the Oregon Housing and Community Services, told Farmworkers Forum that the state estimates that farmworkers contribute about $4.3 billion to Oregon’s annual agricultural economy.
The Farmworker Housing Development Corporation (FHDC) reports that the median household income for FHDC residents is under $16,000; 40% are “food insecure” and 76% don’t have health insurance.

Read more at Capitol Press

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