Adaptive: Dwelling for migrant and seasonal farmworkers
Overstreet, Robert Edgar
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Migrant Farm Worker Housing in West Texas should provide shelter that is adaptable by the inhabitants, demarcated by territorial boundaries, and that addresses the context of the site or the locale. The need for new, efficient, low-cost housing for migrant farm workers and local workers will be examined in terms of territoriality and adaptable, defensible space. Evidence of factual Information in áreas that affect migrant farm wori<ers will aiso be examined and used. The nomadic nature of migrant farm workers and the advancement in agricultural technology, along with the economic unpredictably of agriculture, have helped to create uncertainty in the quality of life for migrant farm woricers. Changes in technology and the economy have limited the employment opportunities for migrant farm workers in Floyd County. During a good year there is work for migrants in the growing and harvesting of com and cotton. The production of vegetables, which once relied on the employment of migrant workers, has been in constant decline. Pumpkin growing is an exception to the overall decline in vegetable production. Migrant farm workers still provide additionai assistance to local farm work in tasks that can not be achieved by mechanization. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) wants to reduce the current number from 75 units, at the Farm Workers Housing at Floydada, to 25 in order to maintain operation. To operate and be maintained efficiently, famn worker housing must be occupied year-round. The goal of this project is to provide a housing solution that offers a middie-ground between the housing needs of migrant farm woricers and the viability of operating the facility. 9.26.04 The Farm Labor Housing at Floydada, Texas was created in the early 1970's specifically for the accommodation of migrants. The Floydada Housing Authority manages the facility [under the direction of the USDA] that consists of thirteen buildings Each building consists of three housing units. There are a total of 75 units which each have three rooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom. The housing is not up-to-date with current needs of migrant workers. The existing units make inefficient use of energy for year-round use. The heating is distributed to each of the three units from one source. There is no air-conditioning for summer use. The majority of the windows are inoperable. The walls are made of un-insulated concrete blocks. The furnishings are sparse and in disrepair. This facility is subject to vandalism and trespassing when unoccupied. Because of the present condition of the migrant economy, the USDAexpects to operate only 25 units. The USDA is making plans to rehabilitate this facility within the next three years. The original, 30 year grant expires in 2007.