Students See Rent Prices Rise in Rogers Park

Mikayla Ciesil | The PHOENIXThe median rent for an apartment in Rogers Park is lower than that of neighborhoods surrounding DePaul University, University of Illinois at Chicago and University of Chicago. Rogers Park's median rent in 2015 was $1,054, according to city data.

Rent in Rogers Park keeps going up, but it still has a lower-than-average housing cost than most other Chicago neighborhoods, according to city of Chicago data.

The median rent in Rogers Park for all apartments was $1,054 in 2015, which is lower than that of neighborhoods in which DePaul University, University of Illinois at Chicago and University of Chicago are located, according to city data.

The median rent in Lincoln Park, where DePaul University is located, was $500 more than Rogers Park’s median, according to city data.

The University of Illinois at Chicago is located in the Near West Side area, where the median rent was also $500 more than in Rogers Park. The University of Chicago is located in Hyde Park, where the median rent was $1,061, similar to Rogers Park.

Loyola junior Mariana Cubillos, 21, said she has found Rogers Park living options to be relatively expensive for students, but affordable when compared to other neighborhoods in the city.

“Rogers Park is definitely cheaper depending on where you are. It has a lot of houses, which is nice because it allows for [you to] split up the rent pretty well with people,” Cubillos said.

But the international studies and economics double major said her apartment is becoming less affordable. Since last year, she said her rent increased about $50.

Cubillos said even though she is working part-time, she is still concerned about her rent increasing next year based on her initial impression while looking for housing.

Cubillos isn’t the only renter in Rogers Park paying more. Between 2012 and 2015, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Rogers Park increased an average of 2.8 percent each year, according to data collected by Domu, an online database of Chicago listings.

In nearby Edgewater, there was an average increase of 8.4 percent per year.

But in Lincoln Park, the average increase in rent was 4.1 percent per year.

“I don’t necessarily think [rising rents are] a good or a bad thing. I think it’s just the way the economy is going and it means that Rogers Park is developing,” Cubillos said.

Loyola economics professor Marc Hayford, Ph.D., wrote in an email to The Phoenix that as housing construction slows, rent prices could increase.

“An increase in rents would suggest an increase in the demand for housing has been greater than the increase in supply,” Hayford said.

The different growth in rent prices in neighborhoods across Chicago could be caused by changes in the relative amenities in neighborhoods, such as crime rates and school qualities, according to Hayford.

Between 2012 and 2015, the increase in price of rent for two-bedroom apartments across Chicago has been 5.2 percent each year, according to Domu. Hayford suggested that the growth of rent being 2.4 percent less per year in Rogers Park shows slower growth in housing demand relative to the rest of the city.

In Rogers Park there has recently been a push for development. Ald. Joe Moore (49th) proposed a mixed-use development near Devon Avenue and Sheridan Road, called The Concord at Sheridan, at a January community meeting.

The building would include a Target store and mixed-income housing. At the meeting for the proposed development some community members and Loyola students expressed their concerns, The Phoenix reported.

Ellie Molise, 22, is concerned that this development and others could have an effect on the overall cost of housing in the Rogers Park area.

“I’ve somewhat noticed [rising rent prices] myself, but mostly through the conversations I’ve had with fellow residents of Rogers Park, most of whom are not students, and who’ve been around for longer, they have seen a definite rise in rent,” said the senior women’s and gender studies and Spanish double major.

Molise said she is worried about gentrification in the Rogers Park area and thinks that developers should listen to the thoughts of community members who believe that development could do more harm than good.

“I think that [higher rents are] something that Loyola should definitely address, but in general I do think Rogers Park is manageable financially,” Molise said.

In an email to The Phoenix, Kimberly Moore, Assistant Dean of Students, wrote that in her experience working with students, complaints about the cost of housing in Rogers Park have been rare because it is one of the more affordable neighborhoods in Chicago.

“Every student has different needs and concerns as it relates to living off-campus so we make sure to have a number of different resources available to students to address their needs in context,” Moore said. “[Loyola has] great community partnerships with nonprofit organizations that assist students with affordable housing, [and] we engage those partnerships on a case-by-case basis.”


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