Maximizing Impact: Attracting and Prioitizng Target Populations for the Chicago Housing Trust

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Our client, The Chicago Housing Trust (The Housing Trust or The Trust), has asked our team to develop a preference policy that will prioritize marginalized Chicagoans – particularly Chicagoans of color and those negatively impacted by past housing policies – applying as first-time homeowners for a Housing Trust- owned unit. The Trust was primarily interested in learning from other cities that have implemented preference policies, both their mistakes and best practices, and hearing from current and prospective homeowners about their experience with accessing housing in Chicago and how The Housing Trust can make units more accessible to them.

This report first defines our policy research question before exploring historic, current, and Chicago-specific housing policies that impact access to homeownership. We then review our research methods, which include an analysis of Chicago housing policy, case studies, and interviews. Finally, this report lays out our findings along with four recommendations for The Housing Trust to ensure that its housing stock reaches the intended population. Definitions for housing- related concepts used in our report can be found in Appendix A.

A summary of our recommendations are as follows: (1) utilize affirmative marketing, (2) implement a point-system preference policy, (3) provide case workers to applicants and homeowners, and (4) invite current homeowners to join the Housing Trust’s Board.





Paul, Elizabeth, Maria Ralenkotter and Alex Resney (2023). Maximizing Impact: Attracting and Prioitizng Target Populations for the Chicago Housing Trust. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from

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