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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has created the Interagency Task Force on Agricultural Labor Housing to establish a coordinated approach to changes of agricultural workers and their families who reside in employer-provided housing. The task force will focus on three key areas: coordinating compliance, capital improvements, and infrastructure and statewide issues.
State agencies are responsible for compliance with a number of state statutes that affect the health and safety of Oregon workers and their families. These enforcement efforts sometimes overlap. There are also areas where an agency’s jurisdiction is not clear.
The task force will be a forum for clarifying agency regulatory responsibility and gaps and providing for more coordinated enforcement efforts. The task force will make its initial recommendations to the governor no later than Oct. 1, 2022, and will continue biannually until it is no longer necessary for the task force to meet.
Improving the conditions in employer-provided housing for agricultural workers and their families will require major capital investments in the areas of structural upgrade, water, and sanitation to name a few. The cost improvements may be beyond the abilities of the private sector to finance. The task force will provide a forum to develop a potential policy package for the 2023 legislative session to fund major capital improvements. Among the options are zero/low interest loans, tax credits, and grants. The task force will make recommendations to the governor no later than Nov. 1, 2022, but more recommendations may be generated as the task force matures.
There are significant infrastructure issues that must be addressed in order to move ahead on improving conditions for agricultural workers and their families.
The task force will identify existing barriers to improving conditions and seek regulatory or legislative solutions to overcoming these barriers. Some examples include local zoning regulations, electrical infrastructure, ground water resources, and water rights.
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Zoom meetingMeeting ID: 160 870 6293 Passcode: 644232
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