Institute for Housing Studies Convenes Chicago Stakeholders for Solutions to Older Adults’ Housing Needs
In May 2022, the Institute for Housing Studies (IHS) at DePaul University convened local stakeholders to discuss the housing challenges older adults face in the City of Chicago and suburban Cook County. This convening transpired from IHS’s report that provided data and analysis on key demographic and socioeconomic conditions related to older adults’ housing needs and a policy brief for practitioners and policymakers to understand the challenges and address solutions.
IHS presented their findings to the stakeholders in attendance, which included affordable housing advocates, developers, community-based organizations, and government agencies. A panel of representatives from the Northwest Center, Communities United, Neighborhood Housing Services, and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus shared their organization’s approaches and discussed findings and potential solutions for older adults’ housing needs. The attendees joined virtual breakout rooms to create strategies and next steps, suggesting new incentives for creating and modifying older adult targeted affordable housing, increased resources for older adults to modify their homes, different property tax structures for fixed income seniors, and expanded services for estate planning.
IHS’s convening creates momentum for policymakers, community organizations, and other housing-related stakeholders to find solutions for housing insecure older adults in Chicago, which tend to be households headed by a person of color. While IHS’s report and policy brief provide data, analysis, neighborhood context, and potential solutions, the convening encourages action across different sectors. To continue the discussion, a working group met in July to identify specific issues for ongoing work.