Priority for households displaced by tragic January mass shooting
June 1, 2023
  • Redwood City – The County of San Mateo’s plans to expand farmworker housing, including units for those displaced by the tragic mass shooting in January, received a substantial boost today when the state announced it will receive a $5 million grant.

    The Joe Serna, Jr. Farmworker Housing Grant will let the County’s Department of Housing partner with the city of Half Moon Bay in purchasing 28 manufactured housing units. Eighteen will be prioritized for those farmworkers and families displaced by the shootings at two coastal farms and 10 will be available to agricultural workers earning up to 80 percent of the area median income, with a focus on extremely low-income households and those displaced due to uninhabitable living conditions.

    Supervisor Ray Mueller, whose District 3 includes Half Moon Bay and the unincorporated coast, thanked state officials and county staff who helped secure the grant.

    I am so grateful to Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state for this vital influx of resources that  support our efforts to ensure that every farm working family in Half Moon Bay and San Mateo County is living with dignity in safe, healthy and affordable housing. This significant step towards more farmworker housing would also not have been possible without the advocacy from state Sen. Josh Becker and Assemblymember Marc Berman and the commitment of the city of Half Moon Bay, its city council and City Manager Matthew Chidester who have supported this work from the very beginning and I thank them,” Mueller said. “We are just getting started.” 

    The Board of Supervisors approved applying for the grant in February, and Mueller said they “pulled off the impossible” securing it on such a short timeline after he and County staff met with the state.

    “Our farm and ranch workers play an essential role in San Mateo County's community and economy,” said Iliana Rodriguez, the assistant county executive who led the grant effort. “We are happy that the work we have been doing to provide housing stability to farmworkers in our county is being bolstered by the state and the governor.” 

    These latest funds bolster the County’s recent efforts to improve farmworker living conditions by forming a taskforce focused on bettering agricultural worker housing and pledging $1 million toward the planning costs for farmworker housing.  

    The County is currently working with the City of Half Moon Bay to identify and develop a potential site that could house manufactured units for low-income farmworker households.  


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