Salem, OR – December 8, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) today announced a funding opportunity for farmworker housing. The agency’s Farmworker Housing Tax Credit program for 2010 will make available $3,625,000 in 2010 tax credits ($7.25 million in eligible costs) to construct, acquire and/or rehabilitate housing for low- or very-low-income farmworkers.
“Tax-credit supported housing projects benefit families, children, and the communities in which they live,” said OHCS Director Victor Merced. “Children do better in school because of the housing. Families become more stable. And, farmers and growers have a steady and permanent labor force.”
In December 2000, a Legislative report concluded that Oregon lacked an adequate supply of safe and healthful housing for farmworkers. The Farmworker Housing Tax Credit provides a state income tax credit to investors who incur costs to construct, install, acquire or rehabilitate farmworker housing. The credit can apply to up to 50 percent of eligible costs paid or incurred.
Since 2002, the tax credit has supported the development of 60 projects with 975 units of safe and healthy housing all over Oregon.
Housing developers can take the credits over a five-year period. Developers can also sell the tax credits and thereby provide an infusion of capital and leverage other private and public funds. New rules for 2010 will make it easier for projects seeking other state or federal funds to use the credits.
Farmworker housing is housing that is occupied only by farmworkers and their immediate families. The housing may be year-round or seasonal, in-town or on-farm. The housing must be located in Oregon and remain designated for farmworker use for a minimum of 10 years.
Since 2002, community housing development corporations and local housing authorities used 88 percent of the tax credit dollars to develop multi-family housing for farmworkers. The remaining credits supported housing developed, acquired, installed, or rehabilitated by growers, mostly for “on-farm” housing.
OHCS will take applications for the tax credits on a first-come, first-served basis beginning January 2, 2010, and continuing through December 31, 2010. For more information please contact Loren Shultz, OHCS program advisor, at 503-986-2008 or email loren.shultz (at) hcs.state.or (dot) us.
Oregon Housing and Community Services is the state’s housing finance agency and community services program administrator. The department provides financial and program support to create and preserve opportunities for quality, affordable housing serving Oregonians of lower and moderate income, and administers federal and state antipoverty, homeless, energy assistance and community service programs.
The OHCS mission is to “Provide leadership that enables Oregonians to gain housing, become selfsufficient and achieve prosperity.” Click on www.ohcs.oregon.gov/.