Migrant farmworkers' housing conditions across an agricultural season in North Carolina

Authors

  • Quirina M. Vallejos MPH,

    1. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    2. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Sara A. Quandt PhD,

    1. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    2. Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Epidemiology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Joseph G. Grzywacz PhD,

    1. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    2. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Scott Isom MS,

    1. Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Biostatistics, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Haiying Chen MD, PhD,

    1. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    2. Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Biostatistics, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Leonardo Galván,

    1. North Carolina Farmworkers Project, Benson, North Carolina
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  • Lara Whalley BA,

    1. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Arjun B. Chatterjee MD, MS,

    1. Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Immunologic Diseases Section, Department of Internal Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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  • Thomas A. Arcury PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    2. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    • Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1084.
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Abstract

Background

Several studies have documented poor housing conditions for farmworkers but none has focused on migrant farmworker housing, which is often provided as a condition of employment. Farmworker housing quality is regulated, but little documentation exists of compliance with regulations.

Methods

A 2007 survey of 43 randomly selected farmworker camps and a 2008 survey of 27 camps randomly selected from the 2007 sample documented housing conditions via interviewer administered questionnaire and housing checklist.

Results

Substandard conditions are common in migrant housing. All camps had at least one exterior housing problem; 93% had at least one interior problem. Housing conditions worsen across the agricultural season. Characteristics including no residents with H2A visa and 11 or more residents are associated with poorer conditions.

Conclusions

Housing standards are not adequately enforced. An increase in post-occupancy inspections and targeting camps with characteristics that place them at increased risk for substandard conditions are recommended. Am. J. Ind. Med. 54:533–544, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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