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Suburban Housing Strategies

Maximizing municipal resources in the face of the foreclosure crisis and the suburbanization of poverty

Homes for a Changing Region

The issue

Explore the sucesses of the Homes for a Changing Region toolkit in the case studies of Home Grown

As the shifting housing market alters people's housing preferences—and vice versa—many communities are struggling to re-evaluate their current and future housing plans.

The solution

The groundbreaking Homes for a Changing Region planning process enables municipal leaders to chart future demand and supply trends for housing in their communities and develop long-term housing policy plans based on sound market research and input from their residents.

Homes for a Changing Region is a collaboration between municipal officials, their staff and community residents, led by the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and Metropolitan Planning Council.

Since 2005, Homes for a Changing Region has crafted housing policy plans for more than 30 communities. The three most recent Homes processes were conducted as collaborations between clusters of four or five adjacent communities, enabling them to pursue shared strategies and access new resources and tools.


The benefits

  • Roots plans in market realities. Homes for a Changing Region compares the type and price of each community's existing housing stock with the age, income, and tenure (rental or owner-occupied) of the current and projected population.
  • Encourages neighboring communities to collaborate. A subregional housing analysis identifies opportunities for clusters of communities to work together to achieve their shared housing goals.
  • Engages the public in planning. Through a public workshop or online participation process, local residents and businesses can weigh in about the type of housing they want and need in their community.
  • Promotes policies and strategies that create a balanced, sustainable future housing supply. Homes for a Changing Region plans create a balanced mix of housing, serve current and future populations, and enhance livability.

See the case studies in Home Grown or our five-part Homes for a Changing Region blog series to learn how communities are already taking advantage of the recommendations laid out by their Homes plans.


Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning 
Metropolitan Mayors Caucus


Home Grown

Homes for a Changing Region toolkit

The Homes toolkit provides a step-by-step guide to the Homes process, which has been tested and refined during the development of housing policy plans completed for more than 30 communities.

Homes for a Changing Region publications

  1. Homes for a Changing Region (2005)
  2. Homes for a Changing Region: Phase Two, Year One: Aurora, Libertyville and Oak Forest (2007)
  3. Homes for a Changing Region: Phase Two, Year Two: Gurnee, Montgomery and Northlake (2008)
  4. Homes for a Changing Region: Phase Two, Year Three: Blue Island, Plainfield and Woodstock (2009)
  5. Homes for a Changing Region: Phase Three, Year Four: Hazel Crest, Lansing, Olympia Fields and Park Forest (2012, South Suburban Housing Collaborative)
  6. Homes for a Changing Region: Phase Three, Year Five: Bellwood, Berwyn, Forest Park, Maywood, and Oak Park (2012, West Cook County Housing Collaborative)
  7. Homes for a Changing Region: Phase Three, Year Six: Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Mount Prospect, Palatine, and Rolling Meadows (2013, Northwest Suburban Housing Collaborative)

For more information

Nancy Firfer
Senior Advisor
312 863 6025

Metropolitan Planning Council 140 S. Dearborn St.
Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
P 312 922 5616 F 312 922 5619
Helping create competitive, equitable, and sustainable communities

For more than 80 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has made the Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area's toughest planning and development challenges. MPC works to solve today's urgent problems while consistently thinking ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow. Read more about our work »

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