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Florida woman accomplishes goal of housing for immigrant workers

There are many groups of immigrants expected to be affected by the much talked about immigration reform in states throughout the nation. In the state of Florida, one of the groups is farm workers. A major issue for many Florida farm workers is adequate housing. Historically, trailers have been used to fulfill that need for those working on farms. Among other things, the lack of clean water that goes along with living in a trailer poses a challenge.

Recognizing this has been an issue for some time, one woman has taken it upon herself to try to address the issue before immigration reform is complete and the demand likely that much greater. She is the driving force behind the recent opening of the affordable housing development known as Casa San Juan Bosco.

The road to the opening of the housing development was a long one. It took over seven years for her plan to come to fruition. During that time she earned a real estate license and raised $10 million. The new development, which is "green," will provide homes for at least 50 families.

Families who move into the new facility will experience a great step up from the trailers they may have inhabited in the past. Each single-family home has two bathrooms and either three or four bedrooms. In addition, they are fully appointed with appliances, among other things, including dishwashers, garbage disposals and washers and driers that are full-sized. The surrounding property has parks and soccer fields as well as a community center, day care facilities and a computer lab.

There will be specific qualifications that families hoping to move it will have to meet. The rent for those who do will be approximately 30 percent of the family's total income.

Some would like to see additional facilities such as these in states across the nation. Depending on how the immigration reform turns out, they could be very necessary.

Source: CNN, "Healthy housing for immigrant farmworkers," Jen Christensen, Jan. 29, 2013

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