Housing markets are defined by a combination of many different socio-economic and physical factors that often transcend jurisdictional boundaries. To identify areas with similar housing characteristics across the seven-county region, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) have partnered with the Institute for Housing Studies (IHS) to develop a housing model based on factors such as age and quality of housing stock, and education and income levels of residents. The purpose of the housing model is to reveal patterns of similarities as well as variations in housing markets across Chicago area communities, allowing municipal and regional leaders to collaborate and to develop impactful strategies that are based on a deeper understanding of the overall housing market.
ULI Chicago Public Policy Committee members, Allison Milld Clements, Director of Housing Initiatives, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and Nancy Firfer, Senior Advisor, MPC along with guest speaker, Geoff Smith, Executive Director, IHS, presented their findings at ULI Chicago’s recent Public Policy Committee meeting. ULI members reiterated the tremendous value of such objective, data-based analysis in policy making and discussed the role of additional factors such as quality of public schools that can significantly influence housing markets. Members also thought it would be valuable to delve deeper into transitional areas – areas that might be at the edge of widely varying sub-markets from a housing affordability perspective – to help uncover potential opportunities to bridge those gaps.