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Explore publications Voorhees has produced over the years.

Many of our reports are available online as downloadable pdfs, with the exception of several from our earlier years. If you are interested in a publication listed that is not available electronically, please email Explore our publications chronologically or by subject.

Chicago’s Clean Energy Future

Chicago’s Green Economy is a strong and growing sector that presents an opportunity to bring equity to the workforce by involving historically underserved individuals. This study explores occupations related to three main subcategories of the Green Economy: clean energy production, energy efficiency, and environmental management. Results show that on average, Green Economy jobs pay higher wages and have lower educational requirements than their counterparts in other industries. This study is accompanied by a tool, “Green Economy Occupation One-Pagers”, which allows users to explore detailed information on the 264 occupations associated with the Green Economy, including variances in education and skill requirements, daily tasks, wages, and technologies utilized.

Read the Report Brief

Read the Full Report

Explore the Green Economy Occupation One-Pager Tool

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Food for Thought: Food Ecosystem in the Chicago Region (2023)

This report assesses the state of the food ecosystem in the Chicago region by tracking employment, establishment, and annual wage changes from 2010 to 2020. Insights into disruptions to the food supply chain from COVID-19 and changing consumer preferences highlight weaknesses that are being addressed through food innovation. Recommendations are provided to advance the resiliency of the already dominant Chicago region food ecosystem to maintain its influence and prosperity.

Green Economy Firms in the Chicago Region (2023)

This report explores Green Economy firms, as well as their associated sales and employees, in 15 different clusters. An accompanying dashboard maps out these firms throughout the Chicago region.

Casting, Forging, and Related Sectors – Characteristics and Company Profiles (2023)

This study, conducted for the Illinois Defense Manufacturing Consortium (ILDMC) surveys establishments in nine sectors related to casting, forging, and battery storage, and provides detailed information to assist outreach efforts. The report lists establishments in these sectors and maps their locations in the ILDMC region.

An addendum to this study features tools and resources that address the issues brought up.

Digital Skills in the Green Economy in the Chicago Region (2022)

This report describes digitization in the Green Economy, educational programs for popular softwares used for Green Economy occupations, and gaps where certain software education is lacking in the Chicago MSA region. It finds that spreadsheet, word processing, and office suite software were all required for 80% or more of Green Economy occupations.

The Landscape of Green Infrastructure in  Chicago: Report Overview (2022)

A growing industry in the Chicago region, green infrastructure is a sustainable and resilient alternative to traditional or “grey” infrastructure. This report provides an up-close view of the current green infrastructure landscape in the Chicago region, identifies challenges within the industry and strategies to address said challenges; and examines employment trends and other job characteristics for  30 core occupations involved in green infrastructure work.

Green Economy Occupations in the Chicago Region (2022)

Exploring occupational growth in the green economy versus the total economy, we look at incomes, necessary technology, and more.

Illinois Defense Network (IDN) Reports (2016-2022)

The Voorhees Center leads the IDN, a  coalition that brings together stakeholders from industry, government, community, and academia to strengthen Illinois’ defense manufacturing sector. It focuses on the defense-intensive regions of Chicago, Greater Peoria, Quad Cities, and Rockford. The IDN produces reports on our regional communities, their economies, the impact of defense-related spending, and more.

NASA Economic Impact Report (2020) (2022)

These studies are an assessment of the economic impacts of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Moon to Mars Program (M2M) for the Fiscal Years 2019 and 2021. The assessment consists of two parts. The first part presents the estimation of NASA impacts on the U.S. as a whole, fifty (50) states, and the District of Columbia (DC). The second part analyzes economic impacts attributable to the M2M program on the same set of regions. The purpose of the economic impact assessment is to quantify the changes in employment, income, levels of business activity, and government revenue throughout the entire economy that result from NASA’s activities and that of the M2M program. Report summary here.

Workforce Challenges & Opportunities in Illinois Defense Intensive Regions (2019)

This study documents some key workforce issues and their origins, and examines some promising practices employed to address the problem. While the primary focus of the study is Defense-Intensive Regions (DIRs) in Illinois, national industrial employment and occupational data are examined to identify national conditions and trends. The study focuses on the manufacturing sector in light of its significance in the defense industry, and its unique workforce requirements.

Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority Economic Impact Study (2019)

This study is an assessment of the economic impacts of McCormick Square on Chicago and Illinois for the years 2018 and 2023. The study considers various construction-related impacts for interval years as well. The assessment consists of three main parts. The first part presents total McCormick Square impacts on Illinois and Chicago while the second part provides the estimation of impacts associated with each facility that comprise McCormick Square campus.

Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority Economic Impact Study (2017)

This study is an assessment the economic impacts of McCormick Square on Chicago and Illinois for the years 2014, 2015, and when development is completed in 2018. The assessment consists of two parts: The first part presents total McCormick Square impacts on Chicago and Illinois while the second part provides the estimation of impacts associated with each facility that comprise the McCormick Square campus.

Planning Transportation to Meet the Needs of an Aging Illinois: An Assessment (2014)

Illinois’ growing older adult population will require significant transportation, healthcare, and housing resources.  In light of this need, this report provides population projections for the older adult population, assesses housing, transportation, and mobility characteristics throughout Illinois to identify need, and reviews focused conversations with key stakeholders, offering conclusions and recommendations for improvement.  Funding for this report was provided by the Metropolitan Transportation Support Initiative (METSI).

South Suburban Retail Investment Study (2012)

Is race a driver or mitigating factor in some retail decisions? This was the question asked by four racially mixed Chicago suburbs (Olympia Fields, Matteson, Park Forest, and Richton Park). A comprehensive, two-year retail investment study, published in 2012, led by Teska Associates and funded by the Small Business Administration examined reasons, including race, for the lack of Class A retail and restaurant establishments in these communities. The findings suggest that at times race is a factor but not necessarily the sole driver as would be the case if it were retail redlining. The report provides possible solutions to challenges in providing the shopping and dining opportunities community members’ desire.

Data and Democracy Project: Examining CPS’ plan to close, turnaround, or phase out 17 schools (2012)

Collaboration of the Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement and the Collaborative for Equity and Justice in Education. Report published on 2002 regarding CPS’ plan to close, turnaround, or phase out 17 schools.

Transit Equity Matters: An Equity Index and Regional Analysis of the Red Line and Two Other Proposed CTA Transit Extensions and Appendix (2009)

Prepared by Voorhees Center staff in 2009 for Developing Communities Project, Inc. The study is a sub-regional comparative analysis of transit investments in the region and their potential for positive impact on regional equity issues.

Data and Democracy Project: Investing in Neighborhoods (2008)

Collaboration of the Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement and the Collaborative for Equity and Justice in Education. Report published on 2008 regarding CPS’ plan to close or consolidate 11 schools, and turn-around 8 schools.

Humboldt Park Demographic and Housing Survey

Prepared for Latin United Community Housing Association (LUCHA) in 2005. Report is a survey of demographic and housing data used to assess conditions and trends in the Humboldt Park community.

The Case for Transit-Oriented Development in the Greater Roseland Area (2005)

Prepared for Developing Communities Project (DCP) in 2005. Report examines the three alternative routes for the proposed extension of the CTA Red Line from 95th Street to 130th, paying particular attention to the route advocated by the community. Report includes in-depth analysis of transit-oriented development at one of the proposed stops on the community route.

Senior Housing on Chicago’s Southwest Side: With a Focus on Latino Seniors  (2004)

A Market Feasibility Study Prepared for The Resurrection Project (TRP) in 2004. The report assesses the feasibility of developing housing and specifically an affordable supportive living facility (SLF) for seniors on Chicago’s southwest side.

Highland Park Affordable Housing Needs and Implementation Plan (2001)

Prepared for the City of Highland Park in 2001. This plan document changes in the population and housing affecting affordable housing demand, and makes recommendations based on strategies that the community deemed feasible and appropriate for helping the city of Highland Park. The plan was adopted by the City Council on January 22, 2001 and became an element of Highland Park’s Master Plan. Since its adoption, the City has received several awards. In 2002, the Plan received the Illinois Tomorrow Award which highlighted outstanding balanced growth initiatives. In 2003, the City won the AIA Illinois—A Council of the American Institute of Architects Honor Award. Recently, the Plan won the American Planning Association (APA) 2006 Current Topic Award for Housing Choice and Affordability.

Assessment of Housing Investment and Price Trends in the West Englewood Community (1999)

Prepared for the Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, Inc. (NHS) in 1999. The report assesses the trends in residential lending, residential sales, and quality of life in several of Chicago’s most disadvantaged communities.

Austin Coming Together

Austin Coming Together (ACT) evolved out of a study the Voorhees Center produced for the JP Morgan Chase Foundation to better understand the Austin community, which had been hard hit by foreclosure after decades of disinvestment. Convening the many groups in Austin resulted in a needs assessment and new approaches to address community concerns. This included the formation of ACT, which aims to increase the collective impact of its member organizations in improving education, housing and economic development outcomes for the Austin community.

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City of Chicago Homeless Point-in-Time Count & Survey Report (2021) (2020) (2019) (2018) (2017) (2016) (2015) (2014)

The Point in Time (PIT) count and survey of unsheltered and sheltered homeless persons in Chicago with the intent to produce a picture of Chicago’s homelessness at one moment in time. Each year, data compiled during the PIT count are analyzed and help to inform areas of need and the allocation of resources for housing and services. The Voorhees Center was contracted by DFSS to assist in completing the PIT count.

Obama Presidential Center Community Benefits Agreement (2019)

When the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) site selection was announced, a group of concerned residents and organizations came together to discuss their hopes and fears of what such a significant development might bring to the surrounding community. A coalition was formed to discuss a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA). The Voorhees Center was asked to help the coalition in thinking through OPC housing related issues. The data presented in this PDF report aims to help better understand the housing landscape in a two-mile area surrounding the proposed site for the OPC.

City of Chicago Homeless Point-in-Time Count & Survey Report (2019)

The Point-in-Time (PIT) count is an annual assessment of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness at one moment in time. Each year, data compiled during the PIT count are analyzed and help to inform areas of need and the allocation of resources for housing and services.

The Plunder of Black Wealth in Chicago: New Findings on the Lasting Toll of Predatory Housing Contracts (2019)

This report sets out to calculate the amount of money extracted from Chicago’s black communities in the 1950s and 60s through the practice of what was commonly referred to as home contract sales (also referred to as home installment contracts, contracts for deed, or land sale contracts). Researchers reviewed more than 50,000 documents from those files, reading deposition transcripts and pleadings and examining property records to create a database for analysis.

The Impact of a Minimum Wage Increase on Housing Affordability in Illinois (2016)

This study examines what impact a minimum wage increase would have on housing affordability among working households in Illinois. It was funded by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Labor Education Program Project for Middle Class Renewal and was co-authored by the Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood & Community Improvement at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Labor Education Program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Chicago’s Rehab Network’s Affordable Housing Fact Book (2013)

This fact book analyzes the affordable housing conditions in Chicago.

Chicago Low-Income Housing Trust Fund (2012)

The Chicago Low-Income Housing Trust Fund (Trust Fund) was created in 1989 to provide rental assistance to help very low-income residents – families earning less than 30 percent of the metropolitan area median income (AMI). This report analyzes data collected from Trust Fund staff, board members, stakeholders, participants – tenants, property owners and managers, and service providers – and historical documents and national data. It provides an overview of the context in which the Trust Fund is operating, the growth and diversification of funding, who is currently benefiting, input from stakeholders, and the likely challenges and opportunities it faces moving forward.

Central Advisory Council 2012 Strategies and Recommendations Report (2012)

The Central Advisory Council commissioned Lucas Greene Associates in partnership with in partnership Chicago Jobs Council, Heather D. Parish, Prim Lawrence Group, the Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement and We The People Media to create the “2012 Strategies and Recommendations Report,” which was presented to the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA). CHA used many of the recommendations presented in this report to develop its new Plan Forward.

Moving or Moving Up?: Understanding Residential Mobility for Housing Choice Voucher Families in Illinois (2011)

The Illinois Assisted Housing Research Project (IHARP) report, published in 2011, assesses the realities of porting in Illinois. Analyzing an eight-year period from 2000 to 2007, this report found that fewer families ported out of Chicago than is commonly believed. Additionally, the report details 17 recommended actions to improve the Housing Choice Voucher program for assisted families.

The State of Housing in America in the 21st Century: A Disability Perspective (2010)

The report, prepared for the National Council on Disability (NCD) in 2010, looks at the state of housing for people with disabilities with the intent to provide recommendations that can improve housing opportunities. The research contained in this report provides a comprehensive overview of the state of housing in the 21st century and answers important questions about the current housing needs and options for people with disabilities living in the United States.

Are We Home Yet? Creating Real Choice for Housing Choice Voucher Families in Chicago (2010)

The Illinois Assisted Housing Research Project (IHARP) report, published in 2010, finds that the majority of the Chicago Housing Authority’s 35,000 Housing Choice Voucher households continue to reside in predominately African-American, poverty concentrated communities in Chicago. These communities, which continue to struggle with high rates of unemployment, foreclosures, and above average rates of crime and poor health, do not provide real opportunity for voucher families. The report recommends that the Chicago Housing Authority, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the City of Chicago, housing advocates, and public officials work together towards a comprehensive agenda to advance housing mobility and real opportunities for voucher families, as well as to strategically invest in the communities where voucher families currently live.

Locating Affordable and Accessible Housing for People with Disabilities in Illinois (2007)

The Illinois Assisted Housing Research Project (IHARP) report, published in 2007, examines accessibility of subsidized units and provides an estimate of units statewide that have accessible/adaptable features. Recommendations are given on how to diminish the disconnect between accessible units and the people that need them.

Affordable Housing Conditions and Outlook in Chicago: An Early Warning for Intervention (2006)

Summary report prepared by Voorhees Center staff in 2006. This study produces a more precise understanding of the housing situation in Chicago by quantifying the supply and demand of affordable housing and then providing an outlook on the potential mismatch between the two in the next five years. Specifically, the report determines what number of households were low income based on their size: small (1-3 person) or large (4-8 person) and determines the number of units affordable to them based on affordability and units size: small (0-2 bedroom) or large (3 bedroom).

HOME Program IHARP Report (2004)

The Illinois Assisted Housing Research Project (IHARP) report, published in 2004, provides and independent evaluation of the HOME Investment Partnerships Program and the use of HOME funds in Illinois. The report focuses primarily on the types for projects that have been completed, who have benefited and the program’s ability to meet diverse local housing needs.

Affordable Housing Cooperatives: Conditions and Prospects in Chicago (2004)

Prepared for Chicago Mutual Housing Network (CMHN) in 2004. Report assesses conditions and prospects of the affordable housing cooperative model in Chicago and includes strategies, which if aggressively pursued, will gradually elevate the place of affordable housing cooperatives as an affordable housing option.

Evaluation of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program (2002)

Illinois IHARP Report, 2002. Includes analysis of the affordability of Tax Credit projects, differences in projects across the State, the role of non-profit developers and highlights the beginning of affordability expiration of Tax Credit projects in 2002.

Highland Park Affordable Housing Plan (2001)

The Highland Park Affordable Housing Plan contains findings based on data collected to document changes in the population and housing affecting affordable housing demand in the past few years, and recommendations based on strategies that were deemed feasible and appropriate for helping the city of Highland Park preserve and develop affordable housing.

IHARP Annual Report (1999)

The Illinois Assisted Housing Research Project (IHARP) report, published in 1999, highlights the affordability expiration of Project-Based Section 8 developments in Illinois as well as the accomplishments of Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

The Plan to Voucher Out Public Housing (1997)

An analysis of the Chicago experience and a case study of the proposal to redevelop the Cabrini-Green Public Housing Area.

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Deepening the Divide in Chicagoland (2017)

This project compiles data from 1970 to develop a comprehensive set of neighborhood change indicators. Once completed, this will serve as a broad data base for neighborhood and community research in the Chicago region and potentially across the U.S. Identifying and explaining the causes and consequences of spatial patterns in urban areas such as residential segregation and income inequality requires a multidimensional and multifaceted approach beyond looking at simple variable such as age or income.

The Trajectory and Impact of Ongoing Gentrification in Pilsen (2016)

This report by John J. Betancur with Youngjun Kim analyzes conditions in Pilsen relative to the progress of gentrification. It is a follow-up to the report Gentrification before Gentrification? The Plight of Pilsen in Chicago, which is below in the publication list.

Gentrification & Neighborhood Change: Helpful Tools for Communities (2015)

This toolkit provides strategies for communities that have been or may be affected by gentrification.  It details what local communities can do for prepare for and address gentrification-induced displacement, with an emphasis on community empowerment and working together to take action. It explains each of the strategies and includes an outline of the pros and cons involved in taking each of these steps so that local residents and organizations can make informed decisions about their approach.

Making the Case for Change: Latino Demographics Profiles (2014)

Part I in the Making the Case for Change series provides demographic, social and economic data on the Latino population in the State of Illinois, and then compares the information with: 1) the Latino population in other states and Puerto Rico; 2) other racial/ethnic groups within the state; and also, 3) among Latino origin groups.

Making the Case for Change: Legislative District Snapshots (2014)

Part II, presents Latino demographic and socioeconomic data for legislative districts. The first section presents statewide maps for Congressional, State Senate and House of Representative districts and highlights growth in Latino population. The second section provides a more detailed view of population and socioeconomic data for individual legislative districts. These legislative district profiles demonstrate the geographic dispersion and changing profile of Latinos across the State.

The Socioeconomic Change of Chicago’s Community Areas (2014)

This report, also known as the Gentrification Index, examines neighborhood change across Chicago from 1970 to 2010. It uses key indicators to measure how much a neighborhood’s wealth or poverty has changed in this time. It shows that inequality is growing in Chicago. Some neighborhoods have grown wealthier, while others have grown poorer. At the same time, the number of middle-class neighborhoods has gone down.

60 Years of Migration: Puerto Ricans in Chicagoland (2012)

A Puerto Rican Agenda report, in partnership with the Voorhees Center. The 2012 study provides a profile of the Puerto Rican population in Chicago and focuses on different aspects of community life: housing, economic development, education, health, youth and justice, culture, and the non-profit sector.

Open to All? Different Cultures, Same Communities: A look at Immigrants and Housing in Chicago’s Northern Suburbs (2011)

Produced for Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs, this report aims to better understand immigrants living in the northern suburbs of Chicago: who they are, where they live in relation to housing patterns and conditions, and the extent to which they exert political influence on local housing decisions. It was produced as part of The Chicago Community Trust’s three-year Immigrant Integration Initiative to come up with strategies that could help immigrants successfully integrate into the civic and economic fabric of their new communities.

Impact Study: Comparing two proposals for North Shore Estates (2006)

The study, prepared for Family Services of South Lake County, examines the potential impact of two proposals for the redevelopment of North Shore Estates in Highwood Park, IL

Gentrification before Gentrification? The Plight of Pilsen in Chicago Voorhees Center (2005)

White Paper published summer of 2005 by John Betancur, Associate Professor in Urban Planning and Policy.

Interpreting Neighborhood Change in Chicago (2003)

Prepared in 2003 with census data from 1970-2010. Scores are given to each Chicago community area based on various indicators such as poverty, income, housing values, etc. Based on these scores a neighborhood typology was developed in order to assess change (if at all) and the direction of change, either positive or negative.

Gentrification in West Town: Contested Ground (2001)

Prepared for Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation (BRC) in 2001.The study documents the changes and trends in the West Town community and includes strategies for the Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation to preserve and defend the affordability of housing in this rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.