Board Member Spotlight: Kayla Schuchman
Tell us about your background and why you care about expanding housing opportunities.
Housing is connected to everything else in our lives and in our communities. So many of the disparities in our community are linked to housing, and addressing disparities in housing helps dismantle a great many of the systemic inequities built into our society. An analogy that a respected colleague shared that resonates with me is that hacking away at housing disparities is a way of getting at the roots and not just the branches. This, and my own experiences, are what motivates me in my work.
Why were you interested in serving on the Family Housing Fund board?
Family Housing Fund is at the hub of housing work throughout the Twin Cities region. Family Housing Fund is a thought and policy leader, and a trusted partner across multiple stakeholder sectors. Understanding housing through this regional cross-sector context is important to creating effective local housing policy, and having a voice in shaping this regional cross-sector context based on the challenges and priorities of our Saint Paul community is a privilege.
What housing aspirations do you have for the region?
I hope to see us continue to innovate to solve old problems in new ways. I want our region to focus our housing efforts in ways that reduce racial disparities – in particular the racial wealth gap. And I want us to do more than aspire to close the racial wealth gap – I want us to relentlessly drive policy and funding in ways that support this effort. And to do this effectively, we have to lift up and value voices and experiences that haven’t always been a part of the conversation.
What is one area where you think people generally fail to think big enough – and what is your vision for change?
I am continuously inspired by the big vision, innovation, and collaboration that leaders from various sectors bring toward housing in the Twin Cities and throughout the state.
What do you do for fun?
I love good food – at home, at my favorite restaurants and new ones. I like to travel and explore how people live in other places and to see the variation in natural and urban environments. I like seeing art and music. Lately I’ve been reading, biking, gardening, and going to see the great blue heron rookery on the Mississippi River. I most love cuddling with my seven-year-old twins.