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The mission of the National Farm Workers Service Center, Inc. Housing and Economic Development Fund is to create and maintain healthy communities by providing quality affordable housing and social facilities, so people can live, socialize, gather and learn in a positive environment.
The NFWSC was founded by Cesar E. Chavez, Dolores C. Huerta, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and Walter Ruether, President of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) in 1966. Early in its history, the NFWSC adopted an aggressive and innovative approach to addressing the needs of farm worker communities by developing and operating a chain of rural farm worker health clinics, farm worker cooperatives, and the nation's first farm worker retirement home. The NFWSC has constructed over 600 single-family homes and completed 24 acquisition/ rehabilitation and new construction communities totaling approximately 4,000 multi-family units. In January 1999, the NFWSC board re-focused its commitment to proactively help farm workers, Latinos and other working families secure housing that is both affordable and of high quality. As a result, the NFWSC Board of Directors challenged staff to positively impact housing conditions for at least 100,000 Southwest residents in the next ten years. From this challenge stems the goal to acquire and rehabilitate, build new and/or facilitate the production of 25,000 housing units within the next ten years.
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