Institute for Housing Studies

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Geoff Smith , Executive Director

The Institute for Housing Studies (IHS) is an applied research center situated in the Real Estate Center at DePaul University. IHS’s mission is to provide housing and community development practitioners, government agencies, and community-based organizations with reliable, impartial, and timely research and data about the state of affordable housing and neighborhood economic health. Annually, IHS typically provides hundreds of hours of direct technical assistance to such constituents. The Institute’s work focuses on issues related to the preservation of affordable rental housing and understanding neighborhood market conditions. IHS’s research helps housing and community development practitioners understand often rapidly changing conditions in local housing markets, influences policy decisions, helps measure the impact of policy interventions, and raises awareness of emerging affordable housing and place-based community development issues.

IHS accomplishes this mission through:

Data Collection – IHS manages an extensive Data Clearinghouse that brings together public and private data on housing market activity. Datasets include transaction-level data on property sales, mortgage recordings, foreclosure activity, property listing and sales, and property characteristics in the Chicago region including Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties. The Institute also collects and regularly updates regional, census tract-level data on residential vacancy from HUD/USPS and historical demographic and socio-economic data from U.S. Census Bureau and American Communities Survey. IHS collects and works with other local administrative data sets on issues such as crime, building permits, and business licenses. IHS also works with program data collected by partner community-based organizations and enhances it with data from the Institute’s Clearinghouse.

Applied Research – IHS mines the rich data collected in its Data Clearinghouse to produce applied research and data indicators that inform the local and national policy debates around the preservation and production of affordable rental housing and the health of neighborhood housing markets. This information is connected to IHS’s audience of housing and community development practitioners through its web site which includes a Housing Market Indicators Data Portal tracking 16 data indicators of housing market health.

Community Engagement – IHS maintains strong relationships with key local and national housing and community development practitioners. These active relationships inform the Institute’s research and connect its work to policy, practice, and the issues facing neighborhoods today. IHS works with housing and community development stakeholders to provide technical assistance that helps them apply the Institute’s research and data to their day-to-day work.

Photo of Sarah Duda
Sarah Duda
Deputy Director
Photo of Geoff Smith
Geoff Smith
Executive Director


October 2018
IHS looked at data on where the under-18 population in Chicago is growing or declining. We talked to key neighborhood stakeholders to understand why and what... [read more]
October 2018
House price trends are one of the most important indicators of a neighborhood’s economic health. In recent years, a substantial focus has been paid to the importance of house price trends as a... [read more]
September 2018
IHS analyzed which Chicago neighborhoods are adding or losing households at different income levels, broke down some of the different patterns and trends that emerge from the data, and let users... [read more]


November 29, 2018
Announcement - By: Urban Institute

Institute for Housing Studies

IHS website
May 9, 2018
Meeting Materials - By: Geoff Smith

Institute for Housing Studies

November 16, 2017
Presentation - By: Anne Ray, Geoff Smith

Institute for Housing Studies

November 1, 2016
Report - By: Geoff Smith, Sarah Duda, Jin Man Lee, Michael Thompson

Institute for Housing Studies

Link to project page
September 16, 2016
Presentation - By: Geoff Smith

Institute for Housing Studies


Partner Webinars

December 31, 1969

This webinar introduces the "open data" movement and discusses the implications for NNIP partners.  The webinar was organized to prepare for the... [read more]

Presenters Justin Massa, Metropolitan Chicago Information Center, Holly St. Clair, Metropolitan Area Planning Council