Housing conditions for migrant laborers are frequently substandard. While Illinois does have a migrant labor camp code which requires housing unit inspections, it applies only to sites with four or more families or ten or more workers. Not covered are the residences of the many migrant farmworkers who must find their own housing. Often, rents are increased just for the migrant season or families must double up in order to afford the housing cost. Homelessness is a constant threat.
For seasonal farmworkers who do not live in labor camps, affordable housing is a critical need: local rents may be too high for low income farmworker families to manage.
The lack of affordable housing is particularly difficult to surmount for migrants who want to settle out of the migrant stream but do not have adequate income for an area's rents. The threat of recurring infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, is aggravated by crowding in migrant housing, poor sanitation and increased environmental exposures, particularly for migrant children.