Submitted photo State Rep. Randy Lyness, R-West Harrison, helps build a home with Habitat for Humanity on the south lawn of the Statehouse in Indianapolis Wednesday, March 8.

Indiana legislators build Habitat for Humanity home at Statehouse

Indiana lawmakers teamed up with Habitat for Humanity of Indiana recently to formally kick off the General Assembly’s first-ever home build on Statehouse grounds.

State Rep. Randy Lyness, R-West Harrison, joined Habitat officials and lawmakers 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.

“In my work outside the Statehouse, I build homes for a living,” Lyness said. “It was so rewarding to put these skills to work here in Indianapolis for such a worthy cause. Having a place to call home is a privilege that so many of us take for granted, and I was happy to participate in the first Statehouse Build, helping to create a home for a fellow Hoosier.” 

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 were set to complete the construction of the wall panels. 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.”

Leckron said Habitat for Humanity builds over 210 homes annually across the state.

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.

Lyness, R-West Harrison, represents House District 68, which includes all of Union County and portions of Dearborn and Franklin counties.