News Release: Habitat

Jay Akridge, Dean of Purdue Agriculture
Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue Agriculture, hammers a nail into framework of the house.
(Purdue Agricultural Communication photos/Keith Robinson)

Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman and Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue Agriculture, helped to raise the walls for a Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis home under construction at the Indiana State Fair.

Purdue is among 22 agribusinesses and related organizations uniting to build the five-bedroom "ag home" with the theme of "Growing Food, Building Family Dreams."

"Constructing this Habitat home during the state fair with agriculture-related companies as sponsors shows they recognize the problem and have a commitment to solving it," Skillman said at a news conference on the fairgrounds on opening day, Aug. 6.

The house is being built with many sustainable materials, including wood siding and others derived from agricultural products. Carpeting to be installed is made using corn sugar; 37 percent of the carpet is composed of renewably sourced ingredients that replace petroleum-based products.

Akridge said Purdue was proud to be a sponsor of the home-building project. "We in Purdue Agriculture through our Extension presence across the state have a long history of helping promote vibrant, healthier communities."

About 350 volunteers, many of them from the sponsoring companies, will work on the building. It is scheduled for completion Aug. 19.

The house will be moved to a site in Indianapolis for homeowner Tamika Allen and her five children. Allen will help build the house, working on it for 450 hours. She also is to complete budget education classes to help her manage the monthly payments on a no-interest mortgage.

"This house is a dream come true for me and my family," Allen said. "Without the help of Habitat and these sponsors, I don't think I would ever have been able to afford my own home."

Adjacent to the construction site, Habitat has a tent with information, developed by Purdue Extension, on agriculture's role in Indiana's economy.

People lifting house frame
Lifting framework for positioning are, from left, Dean Illingworth, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis; Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman; Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue Agriculture; and homeowner Tamika Allen.