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J Immigr Minor Health. 2006 Apr;8(2):173-84.

Housing characteristics of farmworker families in North Carolina.

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  • 1Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157-1084, USA.


Adequate housing is a basic human right and an important determinant of environmental health. Little research has documented the housing quality of immigrant Latino farmworker families. This analysis uses data from four surveys of North Carolina farmworker communities conducted in 2001 and 2003 to document aspects of housing quality that could affect farmworker family health. Three housing domains are considered: dwelling characteristics, household characteristics, and household behaviors. Most farmworker families live in mobile homes, and few own their dwellings. Many are located near agricultural fields. Most houses are small, but household size is large, containing adults, in addition to the nuclear family. Crowding is common among farmworker families. Many farmworker households lack basic facilities, such as washing machines. Farmworkers attempt to reduce exposure by frequently cleaning their dwellings. These findings suggest that the health of farmworker families is at risk due to inadequate housing. Further research on housing-related health effects among farmworker families is needed.

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