Migrant workers hurt by Michigan fruit crop loss may qualify for housing assistance

Jul 13, 2012

Housing assistance is being made available to migrant farm workers in  Michigan.

Up to 40,000 migrant workers come to Michigan each year to pick asparagus early in the year  and stay until the apple crops are harvested. But spring frost destroyed up to 95 percent of Michigan's fruit crops this year.

Craig Anderson is with the Michigan Farm Bureau.  He says many workers rely on housing camps owned or operated by growers.

"So they put up the housing, and during periods of short employment throughout the course of the summer, those workers have worked for other farms, doing everything from  the current blueberry harvest through the sweet corn harvest as well," Anderson says.

But many growers didn't open the housing camps this year, so workers are having trouble finding a place to live.

Anderson says they may qualify for housing assistance up to $400  per family.

The funding comes from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

For more information about migrant worker housing assistance, call the Michigan Department of Human Services at 517-335-6432.