Frequently Asked Questions - Farmworker Housing Component

PROGRAM BACKGROUND

Q: Is this program free? How is that possible?

A: The California Department of Community Services and Development’s (CSD's) Low-Income Weatherization Program (LIWP) is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and  the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities and other “priority population” low-income communities and households. The funds that support the LIWP Farmworker Housing Component allow for program participants that qualify to receive services/equipment at no cost to them.​

​Q: Why is the program targeting farmworkers specifically?

A: LIWP’s Farmworker Housing Component targets farmworkers in the state because of seasonal employment and low wages. This program will increase the energy efficiency of homes owned or rented by farmworker families; reduce energy bills; provide access to solar energy; and provide some health and safety improvements to homes. The Farmworker Housing Component helps ensure that the investments California is making to reduce GHG emissions benefit all Californians. 

Q: ​How do I know I can trust the program administrators and workers?

A: ​​The LIWP Farmworker Housing Component is an official program of the State of California and is overseen by the California Department of Community Services and Development. The program is funded by California to reduce energy usage, household energy expenses, and GHG emissions. The Farmworker Housing Component is administered by La Cooperativa Campesina de California in partnership with MAROMA Energy Services. Approved local contractors include: Proteus, Central Valley Opportunity Center (CVOC), GRID Alternatives, John Harrison Contracting, ​Highlands Energy, Sunworks, ​PRM Consulting, and Reliable Energy.

Q: Are there other programs available to me for assistance?

A: CSD offers a variety of assistance programs and works with Farmworker Housing Component  administrators to leverage other programs offered by other agencies and utilities. Such programs include services such as employment and training, energy bill assistance, emergency services, and more. For more information about CSD's other programs and to find local providers in your area, visit CSD's Find Assistance​ page.

ELIGIBILITY & APPROVAL​

Q: What income level is considered "low-income" to qualify for the program?

A: Eligibility for the LIWP Farmworker Housing Component is 80 percent of Area Median Income or 80 percent State Median Income (whichever is higher) and depends on household size. Contact​ the Customer Solution Center at (833) FOR-LIWP or (833) 367-5497​ for more information. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.​, to assist customers in English and Spanish. Other languages are available via translation services upon request.

Q: If I’m low-income and a farmworker, are there other reasons I still may not qualify?

A: The Farmworker Housing Component only serves households located in the counties of Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Madera, Merced, Monterey, San Joaquin, Stanislaus,  Riverside, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura. Targets are also set for residents of designated disadvantaged communities with these counties. Energy efficiency services are only available to single-family homes (including mobile homes and manufactured housing) and stand-alone buildings of 2-4 units occupied by low-income farmworker families, whether owner-occupied or rentals. Solar photovoltaic systems are only available for owner-occupied properties. Lastly, the condition of your home must not be hazardous, all power must be on, and a household member must have been a farmworker within the last 12 months.

Q: Do I have to be a citizen to apply for the program?

A: No, you do not have to be a citizen.​

Q: What if I don’t have a Driver’s License or Passport?

A: Other official​ government issued IDs from the United States of America or a foreign government may also be utilized to meet LIWP’s ID requirement. Additionally, Matrícula (Consular Identification) cards are also acceptable.

Q: Are expired ID’s accepted?

A: Yes, if it is an official government issued ID with a photograph of the applicant on it. It is recommended to show proof that you have applied for renewal.

Q: What kind of documents do I need to provide in order to prove that I am a farmworker?

A: Documentation can include, but is not limited to, paystubs that identify the employer as an agricultural entity; telephone, email or written verification by a third party of the information you provide. Lastly, proof of participation in the National Farmworker Jobs Program is also sufficient.

Q: I just moved into this house one month ago, can I still apply?

A: Yes.

Q: My utility bill is from six months ago, is that okay?

A: Energy bill(s) for electric and gas services provided to the home must be current (within six weeks of the application intake date). Also, if actual copies of the energy bill(s) are unavailable, you can provide an official energy statement / print-out from the energy provider that contains the required fields: Service Address, Account Number, Name of the Utility Company, and Customer’s Name.

​​Q: If my utility bill is under a deceased family member’s name, can I still apply?

A: A proof of power of attorney is required. Absent that, the name on the bill must be changed to the applicant’s name to qualify.

​Q: If I work in the office of an agricultural business, do I qualify?​

​A: Workers involved in support activities for crop, vegetable, fruit, greenhouse/nursery, nuts, and animal production do qualify. Such activities include financial, operational, and production maintenance or management.​

Q: What if I’m not currently employed? Do I still have to provide income documents?

A: Multiple sources of income with varying durations may need to be considered to arrive at the annual gross household income. If you do not have any income documentation, you will need to complete an affidavit documenting how you pay your bills.

Q: My other family member only lives with us three months out of the year, do we have to count their income?

A: An adult family member must reside within the dwelling for at least six months for their income to be counted in the verification process.

Q: I share custody of my kids with my ex, do they count as household members?

A: If your children reside in the home for at least 6 months out of the year, they can be counted as household members.

Q: I am late on my mortgage payments. Can I still apply?

A: Yes, you can still apply. However, the program administrator may not provide services if the home is currently in  foreclosure.

Q: I live in a community that has a Homeowners’ Association (HOA). Do I need their permission to participate in the program?

A: You may need permission from the HOA to make exterior changes to your home (Solar Panels, Roof, HVAC unit, etc.). We recommend contacting your HOA for verification. It is important you notify your installation contractor of your HOA prior to accepting any measures / services. 

Q: I'm eligible for appliances (energy efficiency measures) I don’t want. Do I have to accept them?

A: No, you do not have to accept any energy efficiency ​​measures you do not want. The program is intended to maximize energy savings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by installing all feasible and eligible measures. Prior to declining a measure or service, we encourage you to discuss the benefits with your installation advisor.​

​WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I RECEIVE SERVICES?

​Q: Will this affect my property taxes?

A: The services are provided at no cost to you and you are not taxed for the services you receive. Property taxes are not affected. The property will continue to be assessed for taxes like in prior years.

Q: Will there be a lien on my house?

A: The Farmworker Housing Component is fully funded by the state in limited areas to provide services to families who meet the income requirements. All services including the Solar Photovoltaic (solar panels) are offered at no cost to you. The solar panels become property of the homeowner; therefore a lien for the panels or any other services will not be placed on your home.

​Q: What happens if I sell my home?

A: All energy efficiency measures and equipment become the property of the homeowner.

Q: Who owns items installed in rental properties?

A: In renter occupied dwellings, permanently installed equipment, such as air conditioners, windows, water heaters, or other items are owned by the property owner, not the tenant, and must not be removed from the property.​

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