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September 12, 2019

AB 1783 UFW Housing Bill Heads to Governor Newsom

AB 1783 (Robert Rivas, Hollister) – a UFW bill that would make it more difficult to build safe and affordable farmworker housing in California – has passed the Assembly and Senate and now heads to the desk of California Governor Gavin Newsom for signing. Click here to see the official vote tally.

AB 1783 exacerbates the farmworker housing crisis in California for numerous reasons including the following:

Unworkable Permitting Process

  • AB 1783 creates a new permitting process for farmworker housing located on agricultural land.
  • However, this permit would not be available unless control of the operation is turned over to a third party that would then operate it under a 35-year deed restriction.
  • Under this mandate, the owner of the agricultural land would still retain ultimate responsibility for the housing and liability for any claims associated with its operation.

Prohibits State Funding for H-2A Housing

  • AB 1783 also discriminates in housing against farmworkers based on immigration status, which is counter to the Unruh Civil Rights Act.
  • The bill would prohibit state funding for the predevelopment, development and operation of housing utilized for H-2A employees.
  • Additionally, any state funding used for domestic worker housing – such as the $300 million for farmworker housing available from last year’s Proposition 1 – would have to be reimbursed to the state should H-2A workers be housed in the facilities at a later date.

Western Growers thanks all the members who contacted their respective Assemblymember and Senator to ask them to either stop AB 1783 or park it until reasonable amendments can be made. Western Growers staff will continue to reach out to Governor Newsom, urging him to veto AB 1783.