STATEHOUSE (March 8, 2017) – Indiana lawmakers teamed up with Habitat for Humanity of Indiana today to formally kick off the General Assembly’s first-ever home build on Statehouse grounds.
Indiana House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis), House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City), Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) and Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) joined Habitat officials on the South lawn to announce the results of their fundraising and tool drive efforts. In all, funds raised topped $50,500 – far surpassing the initial $30,000 goal to pay for materials and costs of the home’s wall panels. Donations raised beyond the goal will help provide training and support for Habitat’s affiliates in Indiana. Legislators and Statehouse staff also donated about $3,500 in new and used tools.
“We are honored to come together in a bipartisan way and support a hardworking family in need of a stable and secure place to call home – a privilege many of us often take for granted,” Bosma said. “This project truly represents Hoosier compassion in action. From the overwhelming donations to the over 160 volunteers working together today, we are thankful for this opportunity to support Habitat for Humanity and offer a hand up to a deserving Hoosier family.”
In January, the Indiana General Assembly announced this unique partnership and their plans to raise the walls of a home for a low-income family and generate awareness of the need for affordable housing. More than 160 volunteers including Statehouse staff and about 60 legislators are set to complete the construction of the wall panels today. The panels will then be transported to a home site in Indianapolis located near Eli Lilly. The completed home will be about 1,200 sq. ft. with three bedrooms and one full bath.
“Habitat is so pleased to have this opportunity to bring our work to the Statehouse for our legislators to experience,” said Habitat for Humanity of Indiana State Director Gina Leckron. “In Indiana, Habitat has 59 affiliates serving 75 counties who have built homes for 5,200 Hoosier families since 1984. Legislators now join the ranks of our thousands of volunteers that make this work happen every day. We are grateful for the partnership with the Indiana General Assembly in fighting poverty housing in our great state.”
“I am proud to be part of this great Habitat for Humanity project,” Pelath said. “What makes this particular project special is that Democrats and Republicans will work alongside one another to build not only a lasting structure, but, more importantly, a home for a family who needs affordable, decent and safe housing. Bipartisanship on a worksite will enhance bipartisan cooperation in the legislative chambers. Everyone will benefit from the good work we do on this Habitat home.”
“It’s a privilege to participate in today’s Habitat for Humanity build at the Indiana Statehouse,” Long said. “Habitat for Humanity has done so much good work in communities around the state and across the nation. Today’s project is a special opportunity for those of us who work at the Statehouse every day and I’m pleased to see the bipartisan teamwork that’s going into getting it accomplished for a good cause.”
Leckron said Habitat for Humanity builds over 210 homes annually across the state.
“It is truly an honor to be here today and promote the unparalleled work that Habitat for Humanity does across our state and across our nation,” Lanane said. “Throughout my district, I have personally seen the kind of impact that a new home can provide a family struggling to make ends meet. With the help of Habitat for Humanity and organizations dedicated to helping others, we can do better. This organization’s mission is the epitome of what it means to be a Hoosier, and I am proud to participate in this Statehouse build to provide one more family with the best tool to lift themselves further from poverty – the security of a new home.”
Habitat for Humanity of Indiana is a non-profit organization serving 75 counties. The organization sells homes with affordable, interest-free mortgages. To begin the application process, families must demonstrate their ability to pay a mortgage and manage their finances. Once a family is accepted into the program, they contribute sweat equity hours and attend homebuyer education classes.
Homeowners and construction volunteers build under trained supervision and contribute thousands of hours of labor to further reduce home building costs. Individuals, corporations, faith groups and others provide donations that make up the vital financial support needed to build these homes.