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Phoenix 101: Housing Options for Students in Chicago’s Neighborhoods and Community Areas

Courtesy of Loyola University ChicagoThe Phoenix breaks down neighborhoods for students to consider living in when moving to Chicago, including the Near North Side where Loyola's Water Tower Campus is located.

For Loyola students interested in returning to Chicago next semester, the city offers a diverse array of neighborhoods in 77 community areas. There are a multitude of housing opportunities for Loyola students in Chicago that go far beyond just Rogers Park.

On average, it costs $1,943 to rent an apartment in the city, according to RENTCafé. However, this number varies depending on the apartment’s size and location. For instance, living downtown can be quite costly, compared to other areas of the city.

Rogers Park

Home to Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus (LSC), Rogers Park is located in the northmost part of Chicago. The community area has a variety of beaches and housing options situated along Lake Michigan.

Rogers Park also has a noticeable amount of murals, specifically around Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) train stations and under viaducts. This is a part of the “Mile of Murals” project, a local initiative to showcase and pay homage to “the arts-centered identity of Rogers Park,” as stated on its website.

Transportation: Both the Red and Purple Line run through Rogers Park. The Red Line has a station at Loyola, while the closest Purple Line station is at Howard. The Purple Line and the Red Line have stops in the Loop.

Alderwoman: Maria Hadden has represented Rogers Park in Chicago’s City Council since 2019, after beating incumbent Joe Moore, the former alderman of 28 years. Hadden made history by becoming the city’s first LGBTQ woman of color elected as an alderman, The Phoenix previously reported. Included in her platform is “protecting and expanding affordable housing” and “supporting our public schools,” among other issues.

Crime: In Chicago overall, crime has decreased by 24 percent over the past four years as of Sept. 28 to Oct. 4, but the number of murders has gone up from 397 in 2019 to 596 in 2020, data shows. The CPD’s 2019 Annual Report found Rogers Park (along with parts of West Ridge and Edgewater) experienced an 11.7 percent decrease in violent crime and an 8.3 percent increase in property crime between 2018 and 2019. Loyola Campus Safety also maintains a presence on and around campus.

Average cost of rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,495

Edgewater

Right along Lake Michigan, Chicago’s Edgewater community area, which also encompasses parts of Loyola’s LSC, offers the perfect amount of both beach and green space.

Transportation: If traveling by car, the best and most efficient way to get to Edgewater is by taking North Lake Shore Drive. The Red Line has four stops throughout Edgewater — Granville, Thorndale, Bryn Mawr and Berwyn.

Alderman: Alderman Harry Osterman has represented the 48th Ward, which includes Edgewater, for the past nine years. Prior to joining city council in 2011, Osterman was a representative within the Illinois General Assembly, according to his campaign website.

Crime: In 2018 and 2019, Edgewater had no murders, according to CPD’s annual reports from those years. Within that same time frame, the 20th District — which includes Edgewater and neighboring areas West Ridge, Lincoln Square and Uptown —experienced a 4.5 percent decrease in violent crime and a 14.23 percent decrease in property crime.

Average cost of rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,695

Near North Side

Though a ways from LSC, the Near North Side’s location caters to students interested in living downtown or near The Loop. The Near North Side is also home to Loyola’s Water Tower Campus (WTC) which includes the Quinlan School of Business, School of Communication and Corboy Law School.

Historically, the Near North Side was where Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable settled “around 1780,” according to History.com. The community area has various restaurants scattered along the Chicago River and boasts multiple tourist hotspots, such as the city’s iconic Magnificent Mile and Navy Pier.

Transportation: The Red Line operates throughout the Near North Side and students can use it to easily commute down to LSC. The CTA bus is another method of transportation for students living or attending classes in the Near North Side. Google Maps estimates that getting to-and-from the Near North Side and Rogers Park via the train and bus takes around 30 minutes, or more depending on the circumstances.

Alderman: Where Loyola’s located in the Near North Side is represented by 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins and 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly. Alderman Hopkins has served the 2nd Ward since 2015, according to his website. Reilly has been alderman of the 42nd ward for over a decade and was previously the Vice Mayor of Chicago.

Crime: In 2019, the community area had 4,024 more incidents of violent and property crime than both Rogers Park and Edgewater combined. However, the Near North (which includes Near North Side and parts of Lincoln Park) saw a 9.97 percent decrease in crime that same year, CPD found.

Average cost of rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $2,900

Helpful websites for students seeking apartments in Chicago include Zillow, Apartments.com, domu, and Places4Students

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