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Housing and Community Development
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“Through the Housing Endorsement Criteria, Mayors of the region identified housing that is well-designed, well-maintained, affordable to a range of incomes and near jobs and transit as the type of housing that they value.”
-- Mayor Jeffrey Sherwin, City of Northlake, and Chair, Mayors Caucus' Housing and Community Development Committee

Homes for a Changing Region - Phase 3 Reports Released

Northwest ReportHomes for a Changing Region is a joint project between the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC). The project provides technical assistance for municipal leaders to chart future demand and supply trends for housing in their communities and develop long-term housing policy plans. The team works with multiple communities from the same sub-region to create both municipal-level plans and a sub-regional housing analysis. In 2013, the team completed the project with five Northwest Cook County communities – Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Mount Prospect, Palatine and Rolling Meadows.
view the Northwest report

Earlier in 2012, a Homes for a Changing Region report was published for the West Cook County Housing Collaborative communities of Bellwood, Berwyn, Forest Park, Maywood and Oak Park.
view the West Cook report

The team also worked with the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association (SSMMA) in 2012. The report included a sub-regional analysis of the SSMMA area, as well as individual plans for four communities - Hazel Crest, Lansing, Olympia Fields and Park Forest.
view the South Suburban report

Northwest Report West Cook Report South Suburban Report
Northwest Report West Cook Report South Suburban report


To find more information about Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Homes for a Changing Region project, please scroll down the webpage.

For questions about the project, please contact:
Allison Milld Clements
Director of Housing Initiatives
(312) 201-4507


Interjurisdictional Housing Policy Paper Released

Interjurisdictional Housing Policy PaperOn December 13, 2012, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, Metropolitan Planning Council and Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning issued a new report, Supporting and Sustaining Interjurisdictional Collaboration for Housing and Community Development. The report recommends policy reforms and best practices needed to sustain and replicate the successes of three pioneering community collaborations in Cook County that have been working across municipal borders since 2009 to advance unified revitalization strategies.
view policy paper





Suburban Housing Collaboratives: a Case for Interjurisdictional Collaboration

The November 2011 edition of ProfitWise News and Views, written by Susan Longworth and published by the Community Development and Policy Studies Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, features Suburban Housing Collaboratives: a Case for Interjurisdictional Collaboration. Click here for the report. The report profiles four clusters of neighboring communities in metropolitan Chicago that are addressing similar and unique housing and economic development challenges by working together across municipal borders, and with the private and philanthropic sectors, to prioritize and leverage resources and have the greatest local and regional impact.

Known as interjurisdictional collaboration, this new model is being supported by a variety of partners across the region, including the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. These three groups co-authored a foreword to the Fed's paper (download here), which provides important context for the report. They describe the effort communities and regional partners have committed to achieve what they have to-date; and the need for policy, regulatory and finance reforms to make interjurisdictional collaboration easier, more effective, and more replicable. 

Housing and Community Development Action Agenda and Endorsement Criteria

In 2001, the Housing Task Force of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus developed its first Housing Action Agenda which outlined proactive steps toward the full range of quality housing options for the diversity of households that call this region home. The document was approved by the entire Caucus in 2002. 

In 2011, the new Housing and Community Development Committee of the Mayors Caucus revisited the Action Agenda to reflect changes in the region’s housing market and the economy, as well as the Committee’s updated commitment to address municipalities’ housing needs in conjunction with transportation, economic and workforce development, land use and infrastructure planning. The 2011 Housing and Community Development Action Agenda reflects our current work and future priorities. The Caucus' Housing Endorsement Criteria outlines general principles regarding the type of housing communities should be working to develop and attract. 

Multifamily Resource Guide

The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, Metropolitan Planning Council, Cook County, Chicagoland Apartment Association, the Community Investment Corporation, the Preservation Compact, and the Urban Land Institute have compiled a list of public and private sector resources for energy assistance in a Multifamily Resource Guide, which includes information about financing, preservation, tenant relations, and more.

Vacant Property Resources

The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus worked with Business and Professional People for the Public Interest and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) to create two vacant property resources. These documents were written to help municipalities as they work to address one of the many awful consequences of the foreclosure crisis – the enormous increase in the number of vacant properties.

The first document, How Can Municipalities Confront the Vacant Property Challenge?, is an introductory guide. It provides a brief overview of nine tools that have proven most effective as municipalities have worked to reduce the negative impact of vacant properties, stabilize neighborhoods, and promote healthy and vibrant neighborhoods. It is intended to help municipalities begin to determine which programs and policies are most appropriate for them.

The second document, How Can Municipalities Confront the Vacant Property Challenge? A Toolkit, will help municipalities develop and implement these programs and policies. It provides more detailed information about how to put these tools into use. The Toolkit also discusses best practices and provides links to additional resources.

Home Grown: Local Housing Strategies in Action

This collection—compiled by the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, Chicago Metropolis 2020, and Metropolitan Planning Council—describes a number of housing “best practices” implemented by local governments around the Chicago metropolitan region. The intent is to show local policymakers and practitioners how their peers are addressing housing issues, and spark ideas for replicating or improving upon these approaches to address their own local housing challenges.

This collection demonstrates that exciting, innovative, local efforts are contributing to a quality, diverse housing stock that meets the needs of a variety of residents in our region. The first version of Home Grown was originally released at the end of 2006. This publication is meant to be an ongoing resource. Therefore, the partners have and will continue to update the binder regularly with new best practices summaries. To download a copy of Home Grown, follow this link: Download publication

New Summaries 

Housing Policy and Governance
City of St. Charles Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance
Arlington Height's Multifamily Affordable Housing Policy

Housing Development
First Street, St. Charles

Housing Program
Loyola University Chicago University-Assisted Housing Program

Chicago Community Land Trust

Housing 1-2-3: A Workbook for Local Officials and Community Leaders

download Housing-1-3_final_reportThis workbook was produced by the Caucus, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Metropolitan Planning Council and Illinois Housing Council . It serves as a guide to housing planning, creation and preservation. Loaded with how-to advice, and the right questions to ask your community, Housing 1-2-3 is easy to use and provides guidance on many of the issues surrounding housing.
Download report

Retail 1-2-3: A Workbook for Local Officials and Community Leaders

The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus partnered with the International Council of Shopping Centers, Campaign for Sensible Growth and Metropolitan Planning Council to produce a workbook focusing on retail development in Illinois.  Retail 1-2-3 is a toolkit for local elected and appointed officials, citizen leaders, and the development community to help attract and retain valuable businesses while honoring the unique vision and goals of local governments. To download a copy of Retail 1-2-3, click here.

Homes for a Changing Region - Phase 1 and 2

In 2005, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and Chicago Metropolis 2020 produced Homes for a Changing Region, Phase 1, which examined the changing demographics of the six-county Chicago region and forecasted how the new population will affect housing demand between 2000 and 2030. The report identified a serious mismatch between the type of housing being planned and the housing that is likely to be needed by the region’s growing population. Phase 2 took the project to the local level. Over three years, the Caucus and CM 2020 worked with nine communities and COGs. In each year, we produced a detailed housing policy plan for three communities. Year One, completed in October 2007, features an analysis of the housing supply and demand for Aurora, Libertyville and Oak Forest. Year Two included Gurnee, Montgomery and Northlake. Year 3, released in October 2009, focused on Blue Island, Plainfield and Woodstock.  Each study was undertaken with the cooperation of the local community, and the overall project was guided by a Mayors’ Advisory Group. The partners secured funding from the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Field Foundation of Illinois, the Harris Family Foundation, and National City Bank (now a part of PNC) to conduct this work.

To access the report in full, click on the report thumbnail below. 

Homes for a Changing Region (2005) Homes for a Changing Region (Year One) feat.
Aurora, Libertyville and Oak Forest
Homes for a Changing Region (Year Two) feat.
Gurnee, Montgomery and Northlake
Homes for a Changing Region (Year Three) feat. Blue Island, Plainfield and Woodstock
Homes for a Changing Region (2005)


Housing Video

The Caucus' Housing Task Force worked with the Metropolitan Planning Council to create a housing video. Welcome Home: Housing Our Community features mayors, state representatives, residents and employers discussing the benefits of affordable housing. The video is meant to be used at local meetings to begin a conversation about a proposed affordable housing development or policy. To obtain a copy of the Video, please contact Allison Milld Clements at the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus: 312.201.4507 or