Q. What is the Farmworker Housing Program?
A. The Farmworker Housing Program is a low-cost loan program, in existence since 1995, which assists in the improvement of existing housing or the construction of new housing for farmworkers (whether seasonal or year-round).
Under this program, New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), acting through the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, enters into Master Servicing Agreements with participating lending institutions (herein referred to as "local loan administrators") to originate and service loans of up to $100,000 per year.
These loans are provided to agricultural producers who apply to the local loan administrator and demonstrate that these program funds are needed to purchase, improve or construct farmworker housing. While HCR's priority is to provide loan funds for projects which will bring existing farmworker housing into compliance with applicable building codes (i.e., New York State Sanitary Code or New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code), loan funds may also be used for the new construction or the expansion of existing facilities.
The Farmworker Housing Program is administered by HCR and the participating local loan administrator with the cooperation of the New York State Department of Health and county health departments.
At present, Farm Credit East, ACA, which serves New York State, has successfully contracted with HCR and participates as the sole local loan administrator under the program.
Q. How much money is available?
A. Agricultural producers may apply to borrow up to $100,000 per year in loan funds for farmworker housing projects.
The maximum amount of overall program funds available is $9 million.
However, since the program is administered as a revolving loan fund, with loan repayments made by borrowers applied to the balance of available funds, the local loan administrator may make loans up to the maximum permitted, less any outstanding loan balances.
Q. What type of institutions may participate as a local loan administrator?
A. Eligible local loan administrators include Farm Credit System institutions or banking institutions with a demonstrated ability to provide financial assistance and service to agricultural producers.
HCR is not currently seeking applications from new prospective local loan administrators and continues to partner with Farm Credit East, ACA, in administering the program.
Q. Who is eligible to receive a loan? What are the terms of the loan?
A. An agricultural producer, which is any individual or entity in the business of cultivating or harvesting any agricultural or aquacultural commodity, or engaged in handling, grading, storing, preserving or delivering any such commodity, who can demonstrate the need to improve or construct such housing which they own or operate in order for the housing to comply with the applicable state building or sanitary code.
Farm Credit East, ACA, as local loan administrator, requires a one-time origination and servicing fee from the borrower at the time of their loan closing of five percent (5%) of the loan amount as well as applicable UCC filing fees; which are an acceptable cost of borrowing for this program. There are no other interest or inspection fees charged and this fee is amortized over the ten year loan repayment period.
Q. How does an agricultural producer apply for a Farmworker Housing Program loan?
A. An agricultural producer who is interested in obtaining a program loan should contact their nearest Farm Credit East, ACA, office which serves the area in which their farm is located, to apply.
Agricultural producers may apply at any time. However, loan funds will be made available by the HCR on a first-come, first-serve basis.
To apply for a loan, contact:
Your Farm Credit Loan Officer - Go to www.farmcrediteast.com to locate your local office.
Or for administrative questions contact:
Farm Credit East, ACA
One Pioneer Drive
Potsdam, NY 13676
315-265-8452 or 800-295-8431
For more information and any other questions concerning the program, contact:
Farmworker Housing Program Manager
NYS Homes and Community Renewal
38-40 State Street
Albany, NY 12207
518-486-5044 or 866-275-3427 (toll free)
Last updated on 10/23/12