We’ve been promoting affordable, safe and stable housing for Ventura County farm workers and their families through education and advocacy since 2004.

Is it just us here at House Farm Workers! or did 2022 fly by? They say time goes by fast when you are doing what you love, and we love to advocate for our Ventura County farm workers.

We are proud to report that five cities and the County of Ventura added our suggested program of a countywide farmworker housing study to the housing elements of their General Plans. We were able to announce that success during five public presentations, three of which were hosted by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) during October. Those presentations created a connection that allowed for an all-cities meeting, where House Farm Workers! hosted SCAG representatives to talk about the Regional Early Action Planning Grant program (REAP 2.0). For more information on REAP 2.0 please contact Jacob Noonan at noon@scag.ca.gov.


Those presentations also sparked a Zoom connection with a like-minded group, Inland SoCal Housing Collective, which provided a very informative presentation to our Ventura City Committee.

In our last newsletter, we told you about our monthly events at the local youth group One Step A La Vez in Fillmore, where we inform and teach young people about affordable housing, and how they can advocate for it.

Our exciting community member presentations at One Step continued with Susan Johnson, whose talk was titled “Where’s a good place to build in Fillmore?” Susan’s presentation included an opportunity for participants to develop proposals for what they would build. Our executive director also held a game night at One Step in October, using a game created by HFW! called “Wage and Housing.” Both activities prompted the group to craft a second comment letter to the City of Fillmore regarding the draft housing element. Their letter was included with the draft document that was submitted to the California Department of Housing and Community Development.

We are always looking for new monthly presenters. If you think you would be a great presenter, and have a housing topic in mind, email us at: info@housefarmworkers.org

Karen FlockHouse Farm Workers! Conference BoothHFW! had a great time at the Housing Opportunities Made Easier conference in October, where our executive director served as a panel monitor for the conference breakout session, Reimaging the Housing Life Cycle to Improve Affordability. Powerful speakers, including HFW! board member Karen Flock, and engaged audience members made for a great discussion about affordable housing.

There is so much collaboration in the air, and we are taking in deep breaths of excitement. Fall brought in a virtual event where HFW! was able to host the Farmworker Health Collaborative group and their invited guest speaker, Ruchita Kadakia, a county planning manager, whose presenteation was titled “Agricultural Worker Housing Regulations in Unincorporated Ventura County.”

Bus Tour

Rancho Verde Apartments in SaticoyRosie CastilloIn other exciting news, thanks to a grant from Bank of America, our farm worker housing bus tour made a comeback this year and was a huge success. Our first stop was Rancho Verde Apartments in Saticoy, where attendees were welcomed by John Krist, House Farm Workers! board member and former chief executive officer of Farm Bureau of Ventura County. Attendees were then taken on a tour by host Karen Flock, deputy director of real estate development at the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura.

The second stop was at Limoneira Co. in Santa Paula, where attendees enjoyed a nice lunch in the visitor center and listened to a panel discussion titled, “Keys to New Homes: Identifying — and Overcoming — Challenges to Affordable Farm Worker Housing Development.” Panelists were attorney Barbara Macri-Ortiz; Kenneth Trigueiro, CEO & president of Peoples Self-Help Housing; and Linda Braunschweiger, CEO of  Housing Trust Fund Ventura County and Housing Land Trust Ventura County. Chris Stephens, House Farm Workers! board member, served as moderator.

The panel discusion was preceded by a walking tour of Limoneira employee housing led by Rosie Castillo, director of housing and commercial operations. We would like to thank Limoneira, Rosie and her staff for being such generous and gracious hosts.

Justin Bertoline speaking to a group of people.On the way to the third stop, attendees heard from Justin Bertoline, senior planner in the county’s Commercial and Industrial Permits Section, about the process of getting the Somis Ranch farmworker housing complex approved. When the tour arrived at Somis Ranch, we were greeted by our host Alexander Pratt, vice president of development at AMCAL, which is developing the project.

Wow, what an informative day. We are so happy that many of you were able to attend and see the benefits of affordable, safe, stable housing. If you were not able to attend, make sure to join our email list and be on the lookout for our next event. Email events@housefarmworkers.org to be added to our email list.


New Board Members

This year we welcomed three new board members to House Farm Workers!: Jane Donlon Waters, retired general manager of Donlon Ranch; Ken Trigueiro, CEO and president, People’s Self Help Housing; and Alex Castilla, housing and fleet program manager for Reiter Affiliated Companies. We will also be saying goodbye to a staff member this year — our program assistant, Paola Ortiz-Muñoz, will officially leave at the end of December. We wish her continued success.

Now that we have recapped Fall and are making our way into Winter, we can proudly say 2022 has been a productive year! We look forward to every connection and accomplishment that 2023 will bring.

End of Year Donations

QR code with link to donation pageRemember to get your 2022 donations in now before the year ends:

Donate online at: https://housefarmworkers.org/donate/

Use the PayPal app by scanning our QR code.

Or mail a donation to:

House Farm Workers!
P.O. Box 402
Santa Paula, CA 93061

We will be hiring soon!

Look for job opportunities in 2023 on our website at: https://housefarmworkers.org/get-involved/

Community Corner

Many MansionsThe Central Terrace apartment community in downtown Oxnard is Many Mansions’ largest new-construction project to date and will consist of 87 units for workforce households and for the formerly unhoused. Many Mansions is investing in affordable housing near transit, connecting future residents with jobs and key destinations. We are creating a healthier, more accessible neighborhood with additional investments in bike lanes, a pocket park, and other local transit system improvements.

This exciting development is now under construction, with an expected completion in early 2024.

If you are new to HFW! and are looking for a way to get involved, we have listed a few options below.

Want to join one of our City Group Committees? These committees have room for new members:

Oxnard House Farm Workers! Committee
Meets second Wednesday of the month at 9 a.m. via Zoom.

Ventura House Farm Workers! Committee
Fourth Tuesday at 4 p.m. via Zoom.

Fillmore & Piru Task Force
First Wednesday at 5 p.m. via Zoom.

Email events@housefarmworkers.org to be added to our mailing list.

Feeling Generous?

Amazon Smile: Donate while you shop on Amazon, without having to spend additional money! Before your next Amazon purchase go to: https://smile.amazon.com and select House Farmer Workers! of Santa Paula as your charity.

Gift Donations: Don’t know what to get your loved ones this year? Donate in their name: https://housefarmworkers.org/donate/