Staff Spotlight: New Program Director Kirstin Burch
Tell us about your background and why you care about expanding housing opportunities.
My experience spans both the local government and nonprofit sectors, most recently serving as the Fair Housing Coordinator for the City of Saint Paul although my commitment to housing pre-dates my professional work in housing. From navigating the rental market and homeownership in the metro to navigating the public systems that supported me as a young single parent, I bring my lived experience and Saint Paul roots to my work. Through my experience insuring and protecting homes, providing supportive services, managing property, and policy development, I quickly recognized the through-line of who was most impacted by our systems. More importantly, it was the culmination of that work that underscored the importance of fair access and opportunity in the housing market, particularly for Black, Indigenous and People of Color families.
Why were you interested in joining the Family Housing Fund?
I am inspired and energized by the Family Housing Fund’s commitment to housing as a foundational need. I share the belief that addressing the complex needs of communities across the housing continuum requires broad stakeholder collaboration and multi-faceted strategies. I am excited to add my passion for holistic, community-driven solutions, equity, accountability and results to this dynamic team and organization.
What housing aspirations do you have for the region?
I aspire for the region to truly treat housing as a basic human right, and to that end, see our systems, policies and financial resources reflect it.
What is one area where you think people generally fail to think big enough – and what is your vision for change?
We have all seen the images that show equality vs. equity. These images provide a visual representation of how to meet people where they are at, and apply individual solutions to achieve shared outcomes. A concept that I am continuously working to embody and believe deserves greater attention is targeted universalism. We can think bigger about the impact of targeted strategies on universal goals. My hope is to continue to make room for this type of systems thinking in all aspects of our work to prioritize equity, reduce racial disparities, and acknowledge the universal benefits of a housing market where everyone can thrive.