Overview of Neighborhood
Located at the west end of Everglades Village, Metro Dade Farm Labor encompasses 66 single-family homes on 14 acres. Built by the Miami-Dade Public Housing Authority in 1982, these 2-, 3- 4- and 5-bedroom homes were purchased by Rural Neighborhoods in 2004 to help create a cohesive rental community. These older homes were landscaped, reroofed and updated, then integrated into the site plan of our 120-acre Everglades Village. It was important to us to craft a place with a shared neighborhood culture – something we felt could not be done with public housing ownership and management of an essential older element of our new community.
In September 2013 – three decades after construction – Metro Dade became our first rental community to pay off its debt. That’s $144,000 in annual savings we can use to give new life to our oldest dwellings. (By the way when’s the last time you went to a mortgage-burning party?)
Computer Learning Center & Library
Playground & Sports Court
The Community: South Dade Labor Camps
Built in 1982, Metro Dade Farm Labor was heralded as the “new” approach. For decades, migrant housing meant labor camps – as a rule rundown shacks owned by growers or crewleaders. MDFL was the start of a plan to replace the next-door Everglades Labor Camp. That camp though had been the exception to the rule: public ownership and decent trailers.
Older workers still remember the rough ones from back then: Borinquin Camp at 262nd Street, Far South off SR 9336, Tallahassee, Princeton and Campbell Quarters. One 1980 film “Angel City” fictionalized a rural family that travels to south Florida as migrant workers only to find themselves trapped in a squalid labor camp. It sensationalized the most horrible conditions – but awful had its roots. Its setting was Far South, a labor camp where in 1973 crewleader Joe Brown had been arrested in his Cadillac carrying $43,000 in cash and charged with keeping 27 migrant workers under armed guard. It wasn’t fiction but real life that dramatized the need for facilities like Everglades Labor Camp to open months later.