State boosts migrant housing inspections with new staff

Capital News Service
LANSING — A doubling of state inspectors the past two years has improved housing conditions for Michigan’s migrant workers, according to state officials and worker advocates. That is a major change from 2009, when a $3 million budget cut shrank the Department of Agriculture’s migrant housing inspection staff from seven to three inspectors. As a result the department conducted only a couple dozen in-season occupancy inspections during 2009 and 2010. But efforts have more than doubled since 2013, when the department hired four more inspectors. Since then, officials have completed about 1,800 inspections, including 389 in 2015.