Tres Rios Habitat for Humanity draws $15k grant from Wells Fargo

Organization plans to begin construction of 13th home in county in spring 2022

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Plans by Tres Rios Habitat for Humanity to build the organization's 13th home in San Juan County got a boost earlier this month when it received a $15,000 grant from Wells Fargo.

While the local Habitat for Humanity chapter has received funding from Wells Fargo before, this is the largest grant the organization has ever gotten from the bank, according to its spokesperson, Hope Tyler. Tres Rios Habitat for Humanity was one of 220 Habitat chapters to receive one of the grants, which is part of an initiative called Wells Fargo Builds that is designed to help low- to moderate-income families construct and improve homes across the country.

"We had our fingers crossed," Tyler said of her chapter's hopes for landing the funding. "We were very pleased to find out."

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Tres Rios Habitat for Humanity spokesperson Hope Tyler shows off the mirrored closet doors of a home the organization built on Crouch Mesa in 2019.

The local Habitat chapter will use the funding to build a new home, this one on Crouch Mesa where it already owns a vacant lot. The house will be the fifth home Habitat has constructed on the mesa, and construction is expected to start in spring 2022, Tyler said.

The organization recently selected a Farmington family to serve as the recipient of the home.

Carlla Lobato and her three children — a 13-year-old daughter, a 6-year-old son and a 3-year-old son — will move into the new home when it is finished. Tyler said the Lobato family was chosen because their current home is inadequate due to overcrowding and because they met Habitat's modest family income limitations.

The family is expected to come up with a $500 down payment for the new home and provide 200 hours of "sweat equity" for the project. If the family meets those and other stipulations, Habitat sells the house to the recipient family at cost.

The Tres Rios chapter typically builds one new home every year in San Juan County, but Tyler said the organization takes on smaller, home-improvement projects as well. She said the chapter is accepting applications for four 2022 renovation projects that would include such work as building a handicap-accessible ramp, replacing inadequate windows or painting the exterior of a house.

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Tyler said the organization is close to having all the funding it needs to begin construction of the Lobato home, but it will need to continue raising money to finish the house and take on other projects. Tres Rios Habitat for Humanity was the beneficiary of the recent Charity Bowl Sale at San Juan College, but Tyler said she has not received word yet from college officials about how much money that event raised.

In addition to the vacant lot on Crouch Mesa where the latest home will be built, Habitat also owns three lots in Bloomfield for future homes, Tyler said. She said the organization is eager to hear from local property owners who would be interested in selling or donating land to the organization where additional homes could be built.

Visit tresrioshabitat.com for more information.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or measterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.