On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a $16 million fund to support homeownership for farmworkers, including $5 million to support survivors and family members of victims displaced by the Half Moon Bay farm shooting in January.
About the grant: In an effort to make homeownership more accessible to farmworkers, the $16 million fund will be allocated to five programs in California to help build or purchase homes for lower-income farmworkers. It also aims to advance programs that help farmworkers become or remain homeowners through mortgage assistance.
The grants will be presented to the San Mateo County Department of Housing, California Center for Cooperative Development, People’s Self-Help Housing, Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay and Self-Help Enterprises.
San Mateo County grant: The $5 million grant offered to the San Mateo County Department of Housing will help purchase 28 housing units, 18 of which will be prioritized for families displaced by the Half Moon Bay shooting.
The other 10 manufactured housing units will be provided to low-income and displaced agricultural workers in the county.
“We are so grateful to Governor Newsom and the State of California for this vital influx of resources in support of our efforts to ensure that every farm working family in Half Moon Bay and San Mateo County is living with dignity in safe, healthy and affordable housing,” said San Mateo County Supervisor Ray Mueller.
About the Half Moon Bay shooting: The shootings, which took place at two mushroom farms — California Terra Garden and Concord Farms — on Jan. 23, killed seven and injured one. The suspect, 66-year-old Chunli Zhao, previously admitted to the killings on Jan. 26, claiming that he was bullied by colleagues and forced to work long hours for years. However, he pleaded not guilty to all charges in February.
The shooting came after another mass shooting in Monterey Park, where 11 people were killed following a Lunar New Year celebration at a dance studio on Jan. 21.