Ellen Sahli is president of Family Housing Fund and uses her deep housing experience to advance comprehensive housing solutions regionally. Prior to joining FHFund, Ellen served in housing leadership positions for the City of Chicago, including developing the nationally recognized Chicago Neighborhood Stabilization Program, cutting edge foreclosure prevention strategies, and innovative multi-family preservation programs. Under her leadership, the Chicago Low Income Housing Trust—the largest locally funded rent subsidy program in the country—grew into a sophisticated organization, doubling both financial resources and the number of families assisted. At the Chicago Housing Authority, she directed the operating departments, ensuring quality, affordable housing and targeting social services for the more than 55,000 households receiving housing assistance. Ellen holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Illinois – Chicago and a bachelor’s in social work from the College of St. Teresa in Winona. In 2019, she was named the Janice Nittoli Fellow at the Urban Institute.
Miko Salone is the director of operations, bringing over 30 years of administrative experience to the job. She works closely with the president, is a member of the management team and finance team, manages human resources, manages technology, serves as secretary to the board of directors and a member of the finance committee, and oversees the homeownership programs, among many duties. Having joined Family Housing Fund in 2000, she has held multiple roles during her tenure including administrative assistant, office administrator, office manager, and office manager and executive assistant. Miko graduated from the Minnesota School of Business with a major in office technology and certification as a business systems specialist. She also holds an associate degree in business administration and management from North Hennepin Community College, graduating with Phi Theta Kappa Honors, Honor Society recognition, and a professional certification in small business accounting.
Kirstin Burch is the program director at the Family Housing Fund, where she leads program strategy and oversees implementation of strategic initiatives to achieve the program goals. Prior to joining the Family Housing Fund, Kirstin led housing work in both the local government and nonprofit sectors, serving most recently as the Fair Housing Coordinator for the City of Saint Paul. Kirstin is passionate about holistic, community-driven solutions to housing stability, bringing experience in nonprofit leadership, culturally inclusive relationship building, and community engagement with a focus on equity, accountability, and results. Kirstin holds a bachelor’s degree in Individualized Studies with a focus on Culturally Inclusive Approaches to Economic Advocacy and Leadership from Metropolitan State University as well as a Leadership in Affordable Housing Certificate from Hamline University. Kirstin is a native of Saint Paul’s Frogtown, currently residing in Ward 6 with her three children.
Eric Gustafson is a program officer at the Family Housing Fund, where he collaborates with renter communities, the rental housing industry, local government, and many others. In this role, he leads work to ensure homes in the region are safe and healthy while also reducing involuntary moves and displacement. He also works to improve the accuracy and fairness of tenant selection systems while helping applicants improve their ability to secure quality affordable housing. Additionally, Eric leads efforts to expand access to homes for households using rental subsidies. Prior to joining FHFund, he spent five years in engineering and architecture, and then 12 years in community development as an executive director and neighborhood organizer achieving policy and built environment outcomes in affordable housing, land use and transportation, local food systems, and economic development. Eric holds a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from North Dakota State University and a Master of Public Affairs from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.
Jordan Backstrom is a Program Officer at Family Housing Fund, where he supports strategies to the increase supply of affordable homes, with a focus on supporting small multifamily homeownership opportunities. Prior to joining Family Housing Fund, Jordan worked for the National Community Stabilization Trust, where he partnered with community-based organizations in developing property acquisition and rehab strategies to restore vacant and abandoned homes. Jordan holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree in Applied Community and Economic Development from the Stevenson Center at Illinois State University.
Micah Norman-Pace is a Program Associate at Family Housing Fund, where he supports projects across all program areas to work towards a stronger housing system. Micah brings his experience working in various housing and prevention programs to inform systems change. Prior to joining Family Housing Fund, Micah supported the Stable Homes Stable Schools program with Minneapolis Public Housing Authority and administered the RentHelpMN rental assistance program at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. Micah holds a bachelor of arts in music from Hardin-Simmons University and a master of divinity from Boston University School of Theology.
Karyssa Scheck is a development and communications officer at the Family Housing Fund, where she leads fundraising and communications efforts and supports program development. Prior to joining FHFund, she interned in a Congressional office in Washington, D.C., providing communications, research, and administrative support to legislative aides. Karyssa holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, Morris, where she studied political science.