After a visit to Asia where he saw shipping containers in service as temporary emergency housing, then Gov. Gary Locke brought the idea back home to Washington State to address urgent seasonal farmworker housing needs in the community of Mattawa. The project consisted of 40 forty-foot-long steel shipping containers outfitted with plumbing, heating and cooling for farmworker families to live in.

Some fifteen years later, those units (pictured in row below) were in need of replacement. ORFH helped the Housing Authority of Grant County develop new stick-built housing to year-round standards to replace the aging containers.  The first phase was completed in 2014 with the second phase scheduled for completion in April 2017.  This housing is tailored to the needs of seasonal farmworkers, who may move from farm to farm, stay in one place for a season, travel alone or with their families. Once completed, Esperanza features 32 two-bedroom units with 248 beds.  The project opens for occupancy in May and closes in November each year, following the agricultural season.

 The project was funded with Washington State Housing Trust Fund and USDA Rural Development 514/516 funds.

To learn more about this project or how to apply, go to: