As the Chicago Housing Authority's "Plan for Transformation" reached its 10th anniversary, a substantial body of research has emerged to assess the city's major effort to redevelop its public housing stock and improve the lives of the public housing population. This report is not a formal evaluation of the Plan for Transformation itself, but is instead a review of more than eighty pieces of published literature about the Plan. It is intended to provide readers with a critical overview of the processes and the outcomes affecting families and neighborhoods impacted by the Plan.
The research on the Plan for Transformation cited in this report includes published academic research, as well as research reports and white papers by independent research institutes, civic organizations and officially appointed independent monitors, but does not reference the extensive coverage by journalists. The researchers cited have employed a variety of methods to investigate the Plan for Transformation and the output to date varies in its scope: the timeframes of the data collection vary from a single sample year to seven years. Some datasets purport to include the entire CHA population affected by the Plan for Transformation, while others include only a subset of residents found in a single development. The data analysis varies in its quality as well. Due to the inevitable time lags between research and publication, much of this research covers the earliest phases of the Plan. As such, it does not fully reflect more recent changes (whether positive or negative), nor is the published research fully able to take account of the effects of the larger economic downturn after 2008.