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SACRAMENTO
– Newly reelected 28th District state Assemblyman Simon Salinas
introduced a bill this week meant to promote more farmworker
housing by making it less expensive to provide.
SACRAMENTO – Newly reelected 28th District state Assemblyman Simon Salinas introduced a bill this week meant to promote more farmworker housing by making it less expensive to provide.

“One of the biggest obstacles to providing adequate farmworker housing is the lack of grower-provided housing,” Salinas said. “My bill will allow growers to provide it at much less cost, and without incurring the liability that would come from building their own.”

Salinas said his AB 32 would better link growers and nonprofit groups that use state funding to help construct or rehabilitate worker housing by allowing builders to lease blocks of units to farmers. Farmers would then make the housing available to workers at their actual cost.

The legislation will also save nonprofit builders money by cutting down on the amount of paperwork farmworkers have to fill out to rent a unit, Salinas said. Paperwork required in the current process is lengthy and is often an obstacle to getting workers into housing, he said.

“Cutting red tape is going to be a big priority this year,” Salinas said. “AB 32 was drafted with that intent.”

The legislation is the newly reelected Salinas’ first bill of the 2003-04 Legislative session. He defeated Gilroyan Jane Howard in November to win his second term.

Salinas is also scheduled to host a summit on farmworker health and housing today in Sacramento.

The event, sponsored by the Rural Community Assistance Corporation, is meant to bring growers, farmworker advocates and housing groups together to collaborate on legislative ideas that promote better access to health care and housing for workers.

For more information on the legislation go to www.assembly.ca.gov.

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