Jul 31, 2020

Board Member Spotlight: Alene Tchourumoff

Tell us about your background and why you care about expanding housing opportunities.

When I was chair of the Metropolitan Council, I saw firsthand that quality affordable housing is critical for a strong and prosperous region. Our region is growing, and that’s a good thing. But the need for affordable housing is outpacing supply, and that’s forcing families to spend more and more on what housing is available.  We need to build more to substantially increase the supply. I brought that same focus on housing from the Council to the Minneapolis Fed, where our team continues to focus on housing supply across the Ninth Federal Reserve District and throughout Indian Country.

Why were you interested in serving on the Family Housing Fund board?

Family Housing Fund is committed to being innovative and creative in housing solutions. I love to see how FHFund’s work is grounded in evidence and practice, and it’s a pleasure to serve with people from across the region who are so committed to housing and equity. I also think FHFund serves as a neutral convener to try and tackle some of the most complicated housing policy issues in the region.

What housing aspirations do you have for the region?

I want us to expand the supply of housing people can afford, to help us continue to attract the highest-quality workforce. And I want us to reduce disparities in homeownership and access to credit for our low- and moderate-income community members, especially in communities of color. 

What is one area where you think people generally fail to think big enough – and what is your vision for change?

I think that we often focus so much on what government and subsidy can do for housing supply that we fail to think broadly about the dynamics of the market as a whole. Housing is such a large and complex issue that we’re often forced to clearly define what problem we’re trying to solve and then identify the narrow set of levers we can pull to address it. We need to think more holistically about the causes, problems, and solutions.

What do you do for fun?

I love to bike, hike, and do pretty much anything outside with my kids. I fell in love with our regional park system and we still love to visit new parks and explore our old favorites on the weekends. 

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