The History Behind the Calls for Housing Justice
Organizers | Polk County Housing Trust Fund
Subjects Covered | Equity and Intersectionality
Target Audience | Business Community, General Community, both Private and Public Sector, people interested in structural challenges and issues related to food insecurity and affordable housing development and access.
Polk County Housing Trust Fund will explore and discuss historic housing policies and practices and their impact on the Des Moines Metro. We will examine how these policies shaped the physical geography and social landscape of our community and review the implications for access to affordable housing and quality food sources.
PCHTF staff will cover our work from the Undesign the Redline exhibit and affordable housing research including, but not limited to, historic housing policies of redlining and urban renewal, the impact of those policies on our city today, the connection between these historic policies and the accessibility to quality housing and food sources, and the Workforce Housing Study. We will also discuss how housing equity issues are being addressed today in the work we are doing at PCHTF, including the workforce housing study and other mapping projects.
Be A Housing Champion: Start in your neighborhood – Yes In My Backyard!; Call your councilperson – express your support for new affordable housing developments in your community; Contact your legislator (state OR federal) – more funds must be directed to supporting our most vulnerable residents; Support non-profit organizations whose mission supports housing equity and food security.
Polk County Housing Trust Fund explored and discussed historic housing policies and practices and their impact on the Des Moines Metro. We will examine how these policies shaped the physical geography and social landscape of our community and reviewed the implications for access to affordable housing and quality food sources.
Policy and Communications Director,
Polk County Housing Trust Fund
Lauren Johnson is the Policy and Communications Director for the Polk County Housing Trust Fund. She is responsible for developing and leading strategic initiatives, translating research and housing policy into informational understanding, developing contracts and agreements to work with housing programs, and serving as point for grantees. She also manages community relations, events, social media, and media relations - and was a summer intern for PCHTF two years before joining the team full time. Lauren received two bachelor’s degrees from the College of Charleston in Political Science and Music and served as a member of the American Politics Research Team at the College of Charleston, with two papers being published in the journal Research & Politics in 2018 and 2019.
Director of Research and Planning,
Polk County Housing Trust Fund
Kendyl Larson is the Director of Research and Planning for the Polk County Housing Trust Fund. She earned a master’s degree in City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State University with a focus on social justice and equity planning, and her bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus College with a degree in History and a minor in Sociology/Anthropology. Her role at PCHTF focuses on providing research, analysis, writing, and design services to help educate and advocate for housing affordability in Central Iowa.