Everyday Marcos Rivera and his son, whose name is also Marcos, work on building brand new homes.
Marcos Rivera “it is an honor to have been able to accomplish what we’ve accomplished…me and my dad.”
Together, they own Riviera homes, Inc.
“It’s a thrill to be able to build a house and see the finished product and most important see the customer walk into their new homes, seeing how excited they are.
This day was special because the house was almost ready for a new family to move in, but for father and son, it was special for another reason.
Terry Brunner – representing the USDA, came to celebrate a victory for the USDA too.
Brunner, the rural development director in New Mexico explains how long the program has been around.
Brunner “we’ve had a longstanding program…the department of agriculture has had this program because traditionally that’s supported agricultural communities.”
“It's survived thought a number of different administrations…since way back in the 50s.”
Backing loans for families who might not otherwise qualify. Brunner hopes to find more of those families.
“We still have capacity in this program to do more lending so our next challenge is to create a better pool of borrowers.”
The homes are built for people currently living in poor conditions, but they are more than just one step up from poverty.
“We can build homes like the one we saw today…a pretty good deal for families across New Mexico.”
This father – son building team started building new houses about 20 years ago. They partnered with the USDA within the first three years of operation.
“I’m standing on a concrete slab that will one day be a home. In fact, the entire street is row after row of concrete slabs that will one day become homes.”
That means jobs – jobs for the Rivera’s and the 70 people they tell me it takes to build one of their homes.
“So we know the work from the ground up…
Rivera has been doing this 20 years, but his son may just be the one to teach him something new.
“And I think he took it further…by doing designs… that honestly I never thought would come this far.”