City of Chicago Releases Final Blueprint for Fair Housing

February 17, 2022

New Assessment Outlines Actions the City will take over the next five years to advance fair housing to reduce residential segregation

Today, the City of Chicago announced the release of the final “Blueprint for Fair Housing”, a comprehensive plan to address the City’s housing segregation, disparities in access to opportunity, and history of inequitable investment. First announced in April 2021, the Blueprint includes specific plans to mitigate and eliminate barriers to fair housing, and the final document includes input and recommendations received during a 30-day public comment held last year.

“I am proud to be part of an effort never undertaken by the City before to coordinate across departments and advocacy groups to ensure a strong vision and action steps for fair housing in Chicago,” said Chicago Department of Housing Commissioner Marisa Novara. “It is the role of government to address past harms and their current manifestations, and ensure that equity in housing becomes the norm for all residents.”

The findings of fair housing challenges, community conversations, and extensive data analysis confirm that residential segregation creates a cycle of instability and economic hardship with long-lasting consequences. The Blueprint for Fair Housing identifies the following eight steps the City will take over the next five years to further fair housing goals and make Chicago more equitable:

  1. Increase and preserve affordable, accessible housing option
  2. Prevent involuntary displacement and stabilize neighborhoods
  3. Increase opportunities and community integration for people with disabilitiesAddress the segregation of opportunity and related inequitable distribution of resources
  4. Enhance housing policies and programs to increase fair housing choice
  5. Expand fair housing outreach, education, and enforcement
  6. Preserve existing and expand affordable homeownership
  7. Ensure that internal policies and practices advance equity and address the history of structural racism

The Blueprint will also provide direction on how the City will work to address those forces that both drive and exacerbate Chicago’s racial divides, including wealth and public health, that influence a community’s access to opportunity, employment, quality education, transportation, and others essential services.

The Chicago Blueprint for Fair Housing results from the City’s participation with the Cook County Regional Assessment of Fair Housing, a first-of-its-kind planning effort that convened 13 jurisdictions and six public housing authorities to understand the underlying causes behind the region’s fair housing issues. The City partnered with Enterprise Community Partners, Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance (CAFHA), the Metropolitan Planning Council, and six community partners awarded grants to gather feedback directly from impacted communities. These community partners included:

  • Chicago Housing Initiative
  • Connections for the Homeless
  • Housing Choice Partners
  • Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing
  • Legal Aid Chicago
  • Metropolitan Tenants Organizations 
  • Northwest Compass
  • Respond Now

“The Chicago Blueprint for Fair Housing has been a cross-sector effort, centered on equality and equity, that lays out a plan to create a better tomorrow,” said Melinda Clemons, vice president and Central Midwest market leader, Enterprise. “It will inspire the next generation of champions that are needed to achieve a more just future. The Blueprint powerfully communicates the type of City it aspires to be tomorrow. Those future champions will see themselves in Chicago’s vision of the future and will want to be a part of it.”

Implementation of the plan is just as important as the plan itself. The City of Chicago will build upon the Blueprint for Fair Housing by taking meaningful actions to bring it to fruition over the next five years by partnering with local housing experts and community advocates throughout the implementation process and publicly reporting both accomplishments and setbacks. The Mayor’s Office, Department of Housing, and Commission on Human Relations will be partnering with an Advisory Committee of housing experts and advocates to support implementation in the next phase of this work.

The Blueprint for Fair Housing represents the City’s commitment to affirmatively further fair housing and address racial inequity, priorities of the Biden administration, which is reinstating Obama-era rules integral to the enforcement of laws barring discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) obligation requires federal agencies and federal funding recipients to take proactive steps to address longstanding patterns of segregation, discrimination, and disinvestment. The entire Blueprint is available by visiting

Blueprint for Fair Housing Advisory Committee Members:

  • Access Living
  • Housing Choice Partners
  • Northwest Compass
  • Oak Park Regional Housing Center
  •  Northside Community Resources
  • Respond Now
  • Open Communities
  • Supportive Housing Providers Association 
  • Center for Neighborhood Technology
  • Housing Opportunity and Maintenance for the Elderly
  • Northwest Side Housing Center
  • Metropolitan Tenants Organization
  • South Suburban Housing Center
  • Chicago Housing Initiative
  • Working Family Solidarity
  • Connections for the Homeless
  • Black Chicago Tomorrow
  • Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing
  • Neighbors for Affordable Housing
  • Legal Aid Chicago
  • The Chicago Urban League


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About Enterprise
Enterprise is a national nonprofit on a mission to make home and community places of pride, power, and belonging for all. To make that possible, we operate the only organization designed to address America’s affordable housing crisis from every angle: we develop and deploy programs and support community organizations on the ground; we advocate for policy on a nonpartisan basis at every level of government; we invest capital to build and preserve rental homes people can afford, and we own, operate and provide resident services for affordable communities. All so that people not only make rent, they build futures. With this end-to-end approach, 40 years of experience, and thousands of local partners, Enterprise has built and preserved 793,000 affordable homes, invested $61 billion in communities, and changed millions of lives. Join us at 



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