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Migrant Labor Housing License Details & FAQ
- Fee: Non-refundable application fee of $5.00 multiplied by the maximum allowable occupancy of the camp
- Contact: Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development 517-284-5771
- Forms: MLH Application
In Michigan, agricultural labor camps are licensed under the authority of Part 124 of Act 368 of the Public Acts of 1978, as amended.
In Part 124, an agricultural labor camp is defined as "a tract of land and all tents, vehicles, buildings, or other structures used as living quarters for five or more migratory laborers engaged in agricultural activities, including related food processing."
- Applications for agricultural labor camp licenses are sent to camp operators in November of the year preceding the period of occupancy. The camp operator, according to the licensing law, is required to submit an application for a license at least 30 days prior to occupancy.
- A "pre-inspection checklist" is sent along with the license application to the operator. The operator is asked to conduct a self-inspection of the housing and appurtenances prior to requesting an inspection.
- Upon receipt of the completed application, arrangements are made to conduct an inspection of the housing and camp facilities.
- Sanitary survey of the water well is conducted as part of each licensing inspection. Water samples are collected for bacteriological and partial chemical analysis. The operator is billed by an EGLE approved lab for the cost of analysis and reporting.
- If the camp is found to be in compliance with the licensing rules at the time of the inspection, a full license is issued.
- If the camp is found to have minor infractions of the licensing rules, a temporary license may be issued with a specific time established for compliance. Depending on the type of violations cited, compliance may be verified by a follow-up inspection, or, a "self-certification of compliance" form may be left with the operator to verify compliance when it has been achieved. For the latter, once compliance has been achieved, the operator submits the self-certification form to MDARD and a full license is issued with no follow-up inspection.
- If the camp is found to be in substantial non-compliance with licensing rules, or if serious or life-threatening violations are found to exist, a license is not recommended. The operator is ordered to keep the housing unoccupied until the housing is brought into compliance and licensed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Needs a License?
Any site occupied and used as living quarters for five or more migratory workers engaged in agricultural activities, including related food processing.
What fees are required in order to license an agricultural labor camp?
The Migrant Labor Housing program has a non-refundable application fee of $5.00 multiplied times the maximum allowable occupancy of the camp. So, a camp with an allowable occupancy of 6 people would pay a $30.00 annual application fee.
How do I apply for an agricultural labor camp license?
For new camps - contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development by phone at 517-284-5619 or 517-284-5621 or by mail at Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, Environmental Stewardship Division, Migrant Labor Housing Program, P.O. Box 30017, Lansing, Michigan 48909. An application will be mailed to you for completion, and a field sanitarian will contact you for an appointment/inspection.
What should I expect if I do not obtain licensing for my migrant labor camp housing five or more workers?
Operators are informed that it is unlawful to operate a camp without a license. The Act authorizes the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development to assess a fine upon an operator of an occupied, unlicensed migrant labor camp. A fine of up to $1,000.00 per day per housing site is authorized with a maximum fine not to exceed $10,000.00.
When does the migrant labor camp license expire?
The license of the camp does not expire until December 31st, but the period of approved occupancy may be limited to significantly less time. Based upon the need for labor, the heating facilities, and the physical plant, an approved period of occupancy is determined and specified on the license. Housing requires approved heating for occupancy prior to June 1 and after August 31.
What should I do if there are changes in company ownership, name, or address?
Contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development by phone at 517-284-5619 or 517-284-5621 or by mail at Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, Environmental Stewardship Division, Migrant Labor Housing Program, P.O. Box 30017, Lansing, Michigan 48909, or contact your field sanitarian.