Habitat’s first local home prepped for spotlight | AspenTimes.com
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Habitat’s first local home prepped for spotlight

When measured by traditional standards, Marti Goulding and her four kids are about to move into a small house.

But when measured by the amount of love and goodwill that went into their 1,128-square-foot, ranch-style home in Emma, they are moving into a mansion.

The Gouldings are the fortunate recipients of the first home that Habitat for Humanity has constructed in the Roaring Fork Valley. An estimated 2,000 hours of volunteer labor went into the home after construction started in mid-December 2000, according to Tim Whitsitt, president of the local Habitat chapter.

“I think the response has been great,” said Whitsitt. “We had over 100 volunteers signed up and working on this.”

Goulding put more than 300 hours in herself, easily topping the 250 hours of sweat equity required as the Habitat recipient. Goulding’s family had to meet income and asset criteria, and she must repay an interest-free, $90,000 loan.

Goulding said the Habitat house was a godsend. Rent in the Roaring Fork Valley was eating up too much of her income, after she became a single mom, and threatened to drive her family away.

“Habitat is doing so much more than building housing,” Goulding said. “Truly they’re changing lives.”

She plans to stay involved with the Roaring Fork Valley chapter after her home is completed. She also believes she’s made some lifelong friends from the home-building experience.

“That’s been one of the rich experiences in this, meeting the people who show up at the job site,” she said. “I just wish I could meet everybody.”

Goulding and her kids – Jessica, 14, Victoria, 12, Patrick, 10, and Hannah, 8 – hope to move into their new home by mid-April. Final touches, such as carpeting, were being added this week.

All volunteers and anyone else interested in the project or Habitat’s mission is invited to attend a celebration of the first project Sunday, March 25, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Refreshments will be provided at the home at 2900 Emma Road.

The Gouldings are moving to a beautiful rural setting on a one-half acre lot by Ginny Parker. Llamas are their neighbors. Cows graze across the road.

The house remains empty, but the three girls have already envisioned the layout of their bedroom. Patrick reveled in the fact he gets a room by himself.

Whitsitt said he’s confident that people who check out the Goulding home will realize that Habitat builds quality products.

“We’ve got a really nice-looking, well-built home,” he said.

The nonprofit organization is anxious to start another house.

“We want to find another piece of property,” said Whitsitt. “I’d really like to keep the momentum.”

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