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Townhomes open for farm laborers in Dodge City


Representatives from U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, Kansas Housing Resources Corporation, and Interfaith Housing Services celebrated the opening of Santa Fe Townhomes, developed specifically to provide housing for domestic farm laborers and their families in Dodge City. USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty.

Interfaith Housing Services received a $2.5 million grant and $500,000 loan from USDA Rural Development’s Farm Labor Housing program to build nine duplexes in Dodge City. In addition to the financing from USDA, Interfaith Housing Services also received a $500,000 forgivable loan from KHRC’s HOME Rental Development program.

“USDA’s Farm Labor Housing Program provides financing to organizations that develop affordable housing for the agricultural workforce in rural communities throughout the nation where adequate housing doesn’t exist,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Patty Clark. “Dodge City’s agricultural businesses have continued to grow, but the city lacks adequate housing. This program is designed specifically to provide safe, affordable housing for farm laborers and their families in communities with a strong agricultural base.”

Under the Farm Labor Housing Program, loans and grants are provided to farmers, farmers associations, family farm corporations, Indian tribes, nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and farm laborer associations to develop or improve multi-family housing facilities for farm laborers and their families. The program provides loans and grants to buy, build, improve or repair housing for farm laborers, including persons whose income is earned in aquaculture and food processing.

“Farm and agriculture-related workers play a vital role in sustaining the state’s economy and enriching our communities,” said Dennis L. Mesa, executive director at Kansas Housing Resources Corporation. “We’re pleased to partner with USDA in helping hard-working families afford quality, safe housing, save money and invest in the future,” said Mesa.

Interfaith Housing is currently taking applications for Santa Fe Townhomes. The facility will offer 18 new, modern two-, three- and four-bedroom townhomes. Each unit contains a range, refrigerator, dishwasher and single-car garage.

“With the shortage of housing in Dodge City, we felt it was important to provide suitable, affordable housing,” said Kaci Davignon, Western Kansas coordinator for Interfaith Housing Services, Inc. “By partnering with USDA Rural Development, we are going to provide several farm laborers and their families with a quality place to live.”

Interfaith Housing Services offers a CASH program for tenants, which shows individuals how to create assets, savings and hope that encourages people to save money for an asset. USDA is also providing $792,000 in rental assistance to make rent more affordable for tenants.

President Barack Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the president’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way—strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.

USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

Date: 10/7/2013



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