Board Member Spotlight: Molly Cummings
Tell us about your background and why you care about expanding housing opportunities.
While the Twin Cities region grapples with two global crises – the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice – our housing crunch continues to worsen, particularly for our low-income households and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. The depth and breadth of the housing crisis continues to unfold throughout our region and state. Stable housing is critical to improving outcomes in education, health, economic opportunity. It decreases economic stress and food insecurity, helps to keep families together, reduces the rate of domestic violence and drug and alcohol dependence, and limits school changes among children. We must do better.
I currently represent District 5 on the Metropolitan Council and formerly served as Mayor of the City of Hopkins. In my public service roles, I have witnessed firsthand the myriad challenges a lack of affordable housing presents and hope that I can bring my experience and insight to my role as a Family Housing Fund board member.
Why were you interested in serving on the Family Housing Fund board?
Tackling the challenge of an adequate, affordable housing supply requires collaboration among non-profits, public and private entities, government, and individuals. We all are stakeholders in this complex arena. The focus and work of the Family Housing Fund, to bring all partners to the table, is critical to exploring solutions. No entity can solve this problem alone. The Family Housing Fund is unique in its ability to convene so many to work together to build a better system.
What housing aspirations do you have for the region?
I believe that we are at a watershed moment. The disparities in housing, income, jobs, education, health care, criminal justice, and wealth cannot be ignored. These huge gaps hurt every single one of us and we must make bold systemic changes to address them. Affordable, safe housing is the foundation that addresses all of these challenges. My goal is to see a full range of housing options across the spectrum, both rental and ownership, available to all individuals.
What is one area where you think people generally fail to think big enough – and what is your vision for change?
We need to be bold and innovative in our approach to provide safe, adequate housing for all. Too often we fall back on what we have done before. It’s time for new thinkers, new approaches, new collaborations. The Family Housing Fund is ideally positioned to be at the center of this work.
What do you do for fun?
I have five incredible grandchildren, all boys (!) that keep my husband and me very busy and fill our lives with joy, wonder and hope, and serve as a reminder of why this work is so critical!