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Purdue Extension to address housing concerns in Parke County

In Parke County, Indiana, limited available housing options are constraining people’s ability to live and work in the county. The Purdue Extension Community Development Program is collaborating to provide county-level, housing-related information that will guide county and local leaders as they work to improve housing needed for current and future community success.

“Housing represents a key aspect of economic and community development in Parke County. Our in-depth analysis will guide county and local leaders as they seek to improve the mix of housing needed to meet current and future housing demands,” said Michael Wilcox, assistant director and program leader for Purdue Extension’s Community Development Program.

In partnership with Parke County leaders, businesses and residents, the Purdue team will provide a comprehensive assessment of housing in Parke County through data analysis, co-host focus-group meetings with local partners and produce a survey to determine the housing demand and needs of employees working in the county.

“We have worked with Purdue Extension on multiple projects, including the development of our Business Retention & Expansion (BR&E) program. Lack of quality, obtainable housing was a need identified by our employers during the BR&E interviews. This assessment is necessary to address that need,” said Cyndi Todd, executive director of Partnership Parke County, Economic Development Office.

The Purdue team will synthesize the information collected and prepare a summary of major findings and possible strategies for leaders to consider as they address current housing issues.

“At Purdue Extension, we are our community’s educational partner for life, and an integral part of that is collecting the data that helps our stakeholders make sound data-based decisions,” said Kurt Lanzone, agriculture and natural resources educator, Purdue Extension – Parke County.

The survey is available online for anyone living and/or working in Parke County. Hard copies will be available after Jan. 3 at the Parke County Courthouse (116 W. High Street Room 104 Rockville). Everyone is encouraged to complete the survey by Jan. 28. Contact Wilcox (wilcox16@purdue.edu) for more information.

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