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With Napa Valley real estate too pricey for farm workers, a local solution

Stashed in: California, Wine!, Homeless, Bay Area Housing

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I had no idea that Napa Valley wineries voluntarily tax themselves to provide steeply subsidized housing to their farm workers.

Napa is the only county in the U.S. that taxes itself that way. 

The reality is that Napa County could not exist without farm workers. Vineyards require many hands, working long hours, to function. Housing these workers then is not just the concern of the workers, but of their employers as well. According to Wine, “Napa is the only county in the United States where growers assess themselves in order to fund farmworker housing centers, where individuals benefit from lodging, meals, laundry, and recreational amenities. In 2014 alone to date, the centers have provided over 51,493 bed stays for Napa vineyard workers.”

Forbes reports that

When you’re an agricultural worker in the Napa Valley, $13 a night gets you a bed at one of three Farmworker Housing Centers. One center is located in Calistoga; a second, the Mondavi center, is located along the Silverado Trail near Yountville; and a third, the River Ranch center, is located along the Napa River in St. Helena.

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