Welcome to the South Side Housing Data Initiative, led by the South Shore Community Compact (The Compact), the Washington Park Residents’ Advocacy Council (WPRAC), and Woodlawn East Community and Neighbors (WECAN). It is our hope that South Side residents use the data produced in our community reports to help push for inclusive policies and strategies that enable current residents to maintain their homes in our communities.
Here you will find information about Chicago’s South Shore, Washington Park, and Woodlawn communities, results from our neighborhood parcel surveys, in-depth housing reports, and resident-led policy recommendations. We are excited to share this information and hope you will join us on our journey.
Even before the 2016 selection of Jackson Park as the home for the Obama Presidential Center (OPC), WECAN recognized signs of change in Woodlawn’s housing market. Homeowners and renters with deep roots in Woodlawn were losing their homes to foreclosure or increased housing costs or struggling to make ends meet. Property taxes had risen, and housing assistance programs had been reduced or eliminated. Increasingly, residents observed outsiders buying up property.
In 2016, WECAN sought help with data collection and analysis to objectively understand housing market conditions and trends, and help identifying additional factors that could impact the future of housing stability in Woodlawn. In response, the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement facilitated connections to a set of resources and partners to assist with these efforts. The 2019 Woodlawn Housing Data Project was replicated in 2020 for the Washington Park community and in 2022 for the South Shore community.
Primary data for the South Side Housing Data Initiative was collected through neighborhood parcel surveys conducted by the Compact, WPRAC, WECAN, and residents of South Shore, Washington Park, and Woodlawn, in coordination with the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy and Office of Civic Engagement using Regrid technology. Parcel data was cross-analyzed with publicly-available datasets to identify key findings and trends related to housing in these communities.