LANSING — The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) had a very busy year in 2016, keeping up with more than 1,000 licensing inspections and more than 700 occupancy inspections. Our seven inspectors were on the road daily covering our diverse state. If you have a site that is housing more than five people who are working in agriculture, that building must be licensed as a camp. Rental properties that have five or more workers also are required to be licensed in Michigan. It does not matter if you charge rent, pay for worker’s rent, or provide housing free of charge; if a site has five or more workers it must be licensed regardless of location or ownership.
Michigan also saw a large increase in the number of H2A housing inspections this year. H2A is a federal program in which workers enter on an approved visa for a specific amount of time for a specific job. The Michigan Talent Investment Agency requests—through the H2A contract—that all camps are licensed and are in substantial compliance. MDARD conducted more than 150 additional inspections in regard to H2A. This is an option to bring the workers into our state needed to harvest our crops.
If you have any concerns, thoughts, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact your local inspector, the Migrant Labor Housing Lansing office at 517-284-5621, or Majed Ghussaini at ghussainiM@michigan.gov.
— Michigan Department of Agriculture
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