Kendyl Larson, Director of Research and Planning

Kendyl Larson

Kendyl Larson is the Director of Research and Planning for the Polk County Housing Trust Fund. Her role focuses on providing research, writing and design services to help educate and advocate for housing affordability. She also assists the Supportive Services Committee with the review and selection process for annual grants that provide homeowners with case management, financial education and workforce preparation. Kendyl monitors and reports the outcomes of the programs and provides additional support to help achieve outstanding results.

Kendyl 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. While at Gustavus she was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, was a member of the women’s soccer team, the St. Lucia Choir, and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Kendyl’s volunteer work has been dedicated to housing and specifically Habitat for Humanity where she served on the Gustavus Habitat Board for two years, leading the organization as a co-president and Public Relations chair, as well as coordinating the annual spring break service trips.

Throughout her academic career she has spent time researching equity issues. Her undergraduate thesis examined how the Fair Housing Act of 1968 did not remove housing discrimination in Hennepin County, MN and how today there are still many cases of discrimination. Her master’s project, The Legacy of Redlining and Segregation in Des Moines, examines how race continues to play a role in the development and redevelopment of Des Moines. In 2019 the American Planning Association named her Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year from Iowa State University.

Kendyl has served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, Americorps VISTA and had internships with the Polk County Housing Trust Fund, Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Inc., and Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute.