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

Am J Ind Med. 2011 Jul;54(7):533-44. doi: 10.1002/ajim.20945. Epub 2011 Feb 28.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Agriculture / statistics & numerical data*
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Family Characteristics*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Homeless Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Statistical
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • North Carolina
  • Odds Ratio
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Transients and Migrants / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult