Investing in Chicago’s Immigrant Communities Beyond COVID-19

Institute for Housing Studies   (Chicago)

December 2020

The Walder Foundation has provided a grant to Communities United, a nonprofit in Chicago, along with several other Chicago organizations with a significant history in prioritizing immigrants and refugees in their missions.  The emphasis is on advancing immigrant integration, increasing access to legal services, and improving the region’s welcoming policies and attitudes.

To support Communities United in their work, the DePaul University Institute for Housing Studies (IHS) will provide data and technical assistance to help the project partners understand key issues such as:

  • The potential implications of the COVID-19 economic downturn on housing and economic security of immigrant populations and communities
  • The need to preserve affordable housing in vulnerable housing types and in different neighborhood contexts, particularly in the 2 to 4 unit rental housing stock.
  • Market factors that may threaten the supply of affordable housing to inform strategy, policy development, and outreach.
  • Opportunities to expand existing CU initiatives such as ROOTS and raise awareness of new initiatives such as the city’s ADU ordinance within CU communities
  • Innovative ways to use administrative data to identify high priority blocks for targeted program outreach
  • Supporting work to reach renter households at risk of eviction and property owners who have been destabilized by COVID-19 economic crisis with an emphasis on immigrant populations and communities

IHS will be responsive to Communities United and partners throughout the project and provide data, data analysis, publications, presentations, and technical assistance.  The data will be critical to the success of the project, especially as uncertain economic and housing market dynamics may require modifications in program implementation to meet emerging needs.