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  • Writer's pictureKristin Cooper

Joe Serna, Jr. Farmworker Housing Grant Program Notice of Funding Availability, Round 2

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (Department) is pleased to announce the availability of approximately $86 million in funding for the Joe Serna, Jr. Farmworker Housing Grant (FHWG) Program.

The amount of funding available could be increased, or even greatly exceed, the announced amount in this NOFA depending on a number of factors. These factors may include, but are not limited to, the Department’s administrative determination of need, changes in legislation directing the Department to make additional funds available, new emergency allocations of funding, newly available funding from disencumbrances of previous awards, or additional funds made available through quarterly revenue reviews.

If additional funding becomes available, the Department will continue evaluating the list of qualified applicants and make awards up to the additional funding amount available.

This Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) is subject to the requirements of Health and Safety Code §50517.5 et seq. and the February 25, 2021 Notice of Guidelines for the program. This NOFA provides grants, deferred-payment loans, or a combination thereof, for the construction and rehabilitation of housing for agricultural workers and their families. Per California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 25, §7205, eligible Applicants shall include a local public entity, nonprofit corporation, limited liability company, or limited partnership.

The Department will accept applications over-the-counter (OTC), meaning the first complete and eligible application received will be the first to be reviewed and considered for funding. Application materials must be submitted electronically to the Department’s website. Requirements for uploading the Application Workbook and required supporting documentation, including naming conventions, are described in the application instructions available at The application instructions and submittal portal will be available beginning April 5, 2021. The Department no longer accepts hardcopy submittal of the Application Workbooks or supplemental documentation.

Application uploads will be accepted starting on April 5, 2021 to the Department’s website. The application portal will remain open through 11:59 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on July 6, 2021. The online support and technical assistance will close at 5:00 p.m. (PST), on July 6, 2021.

Project Eligibility Requirements. Program funds may only be expended for housing developments that meet the following criteria:

1. The housing development must contain assisted units to be occupied by agricultural households.

2. To the greatest extent possible, assisted units are to be occupied by lower-income agricultural households.

3. To the greatest extent possible, any non-assisted units are to be occupied by agricultural households.

4. Assisted units in a rental housing development required to be made available to lower income households pursuant to §7209 are to be made available at affordable rents as defined in Health and Safety Code §50053.

5. When grant funds are to be used for homeownership purposes, assisted units shall be newly constructed, and are to be made available to lower-income households at a total monthly housing cost not to exceed 35 percent of monthly net income.

a. An eligible household’s monthly housing cost may exceed 35 percent of the monthly net income if all the following conditions are satisfied:

i. the proposed housing costs are approximately the same as the present housing costs of the household, and

ii. a satisfactory credit record has been maintained by the households, and

iii. the household has demonstrated an ability to sustain its present housing expense without serious difficulty. b. In the alternative, a different standard can be applied if it has otherwise been determined by the Department that the eligible household can assume greater responsibility for monthly housing costs.

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