Board Member Spotlight: Craig Klausing
Tell us about your background and why you care about expanding housing opportunities.
I am a lawyer and former local elected official, serving in a number of capacities for the City of Roseville, including two terms as mayor. In my work with the city, I came to understand that housing was central to everything we did. On a more personal level, I had a family member who struggled with mental health issues and it really drove home the interplay between stable housing and mental health. Mental health issues can make it more difficult to find stable housing, but not having stable housing makes it infinitely more difficult to address mental health issues.
Why were you interested in serving on the Family Housing Fund board?
I was serving on the Board of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) when the then Director approached me about serving as a MHFA appointee on the Family Housing Board. After learning more about Family Housing Fund’s work and meeting with Ellen, I was totally on board (no pun intended).
What housing aspirations do you have for the region?
Safe, affordable housing that meets everyone’s needs should exist everywhere in the region.
What is one area where you think people generally fail to think big enough – and what is your vision for change?
I don’t think most people appreciate the scope to which current racial inequities are rooted in historic discriminatory housing practices. We are where we are because of intentional acts by multiple parties, from the federal government to local lenders. My vision for change is acknowledging those past practices and being intentional in addressing their consequences.
What do you do for fun?
Playing the piano. I started taking lessons three years ago (never having played before) and I find it fascinating. It has given me a greater appreciation for music and musicians, and I love to be able to play music (no matter how poorly). I am also a runner and am looking forward to being able to do road races again!