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Team Members:
Dominic Strezo
Ryan Eckdale-Dudley
Jason Cleaver

South Suburban Housing Investment Tool

Web Application

South Suburbs of Chicago

Economic Development

Data Sets:


The Housing Investment Tool automates a prioritization and ranking process, utilizes open source python scripting to geographically analyze, score, and rank projects based on 28 unique variables derived from SSMMA open source data.


How did you us the data set(s) in your Submission?

Calculators and advanced models were developed to extract data related to geographic proximity as it relates to potential housing development projects. The extracted data is analyzed and scored based on a prioritization methodology.

What problem/challenge is your Submission helping to solve, and how?

Previously, SSMMA communicated that ranking 10 to 15 sites could take SSMMA staff up to a week’s worth of effort. Using the tools that were created as part of this Challenge, SSMMA can analyze hundreds of sites within minutes. The tool will also assist the south suburbs to identify more viable inventories of housing projects. The tool allows them to better understand, visualize, and quantify the relationships that exist geographically.

What community members will your Submission help serve, and how will they be impacted?

The Housing Investment Tool is ultimately used to identify locations in the community where investment makes the most sense and will have the most impact. Reinvestment in the community results in improving the quality of life, creation of jobs, and builds a sense of neighborhood. Improved neighborhoods result in increased home values, higher paying jobs, lower crime, improved health, and more sustainable local governments. The Housing Investment Tool helps the community by incubating economic development. The Housing Investment Tool web portal can be used by the community to better understand what factors impact investment in housing projects. Developers can use the tool to identify opportunities for future projects to make informed decisions that will ultimately drive them to invest in the community.

How do you envision city and/or state government utilizing your Submission to make a positive impact on the Pilot Community of State of Illinois?

We envision city and/or state government’s will use this submission to make a positive impact on the pilot community by providing decision makers with timely and accurate information, thus allowing them to make better and more informed decisions, and in turn reinvesting or obtaining funding for projects throughout the Community. SSMMA has indicated that this scoring model is being adopted throughout the region and has caught the attention of federal agencies like HUD to be adopted as the standard methodology as well. In addition, beyond this project we see lots of possibilities where aggregation of spatial data and building an understanding of the relationships that exist can empower organizations. Our team believes local government can leverage this project and our tools as a template to analyze future challenging questions that are currently difficult to interpret. During the planning stages of this project we talked with staff at CMAP, Center for Neighborhood Technology, SSMMA, as well as other planning agencies. The idea of our project was not new to them, it was only that they didn’t have the resources in house to put this idea into action, however they saw great value in our efforts. We envision that our project can be reused to identify and better understand the geography of issues and why they are occurring or why they are not. We live in a world where the spatial relationships matter, however they are still very difficult to understand and how they impact us. We are currently looking forward to new opportunities and the integration of our tool with additional data beyond the scope of this challenging project.

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