Housing for the Harvest is a new program that will offer temporary hotel housing to agricultural workers who need to isolate due to COVID-19. It will help positive or exposed workers protect their loved ones and coworkers by giving them a space to self-isolate.

Farm and food processing workers play an essential role in maintaining our food supply. But some who need to self-isolate are finding it difficult due to their housing situation.

How does the program work?  

The State will book hotel rooms in participating counties for workers who need to self-isolate for up to 14 days. The State will coordinate with local administrators who manage the program.

Locally-funded administrators will:

  • Serve as primary point of contact with workers who need isolation housing 
  • Verify participant eligibility
  • Coordinate with the State to book rooms
  • Provide services at the hotel site including transportation, meals and wellness checks
  • Ensure services are provided in the participant’s language, and
  • Collect data required for FEMA reimbursement.

Local administrators will be identified in coordination with the State government. They may be a county or city agency, tribe, non-profit organization, or a philanthropic organization.  

Who qualifies? 

Participants must meet these criteria:

  • Work in California food processing or agriculture  
  • Meet FEMA non-congregate sheltering criteria (PDF) for COVID-19: 
    • Have tested positive, or 
    • Been exposed as documented by a public health official or medical health professional
  • Be unable to self-isolate at home 

How can I get a hotel room?

More counties will be added to the program soon.

Where is this program available?

Initial efforts will focus on the Central Valley, Central Coast, and Imperial Valley regions. These are the regions with the highest number of agricultural workers. It will expand as other counties or regions with this population opt in.    

How can my county or organization participate?

If your county or organization would like to be a local administrator, please contact cdfa.emergency_response@cdfa.ca.gov. See more details in this Program Overview (PDF).

Funding and program costs

California has received FEMA approval for non-congregate sheltering during the public health crisis.

The State will seek reimbursement for hotel costs for this program at 75% federal cost share.

Costs for transportation, meals, wellness checks and any other services would be identified at the county level. Philanthropy may cover part or all of the costs. Some costs may be eligible for FEMA reimbursement by the county.