To address shortages of available, affordable farmworker housing, UMOS maintains both temporary and permanent housing options across multiple states. In Wisconsin, UMOS has two permanent housing centers located in Beaver Dam and Jefferson, and two temporary housing centers located in Montello and Berlin. In Minnesota, UMOS operates one temporary housing center, located in Claremont.
This combination of permanent and temporary housing centers creates an efficient response to the seasonal and rural nature of farm work in addition to historically low wages.
Decent, safe, affordable rental housing options are vitally necessary, yet in short supply in rural areas. This shortage is only intensified during the growing and harvest seasons, when rural communities experience an influx of new workers to fill the much-needed seasonal farmworker jobs.
Market rate rents are expensive for one family, often up to 70% of their income. Due to this high cost, it is common for multiple families to share a space that can quickly become cramped and inadequate.
To address these issues, UMOS utilizes the USDA 521 Rental Assistance as rent subsidies for its Farmworker Housing properties, enabling eligible Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker (MSFW) families to pay only 30% of their earned income as rent and use the larger portion of their wages to pay all other household expenses. This relieves a great burden for families.
About Farmworker Services
UMOS knows from its more than five decades of working with very low-income MSFWs that their most equitable path to lifestyle and family stability is financial self-sufficiency. To support this, UMOS has developed case management practices that incorporate access to safe, affordable housing, child-care services and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start, as well assistance in accessing career training for in-demand, well-paying jobs through the National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP).
For more information about these services:
UMOS Farmworker Housing services are funded by:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Labor