Airbnbs Serve as a Housing Alternative for Some Loyola Students

Alanna Demetrius | The Phoenix After the closure of on-campus housing for the fall 2020 semester, some students have opted to stay in Airbnbs instead of dorms or off-campus apartments.

After Loyola canceled on-campus housing for the fall 2020 semester, some students have since turned to Airbnb as a housing alternative. Instead of signing a conventional lease for a Chicago apartment, Airbnbs can offer a semester-long housing experience, with minimal commitment all while in the city.

Airbnb is an online temporary housing service that connects homeowners with people interested in staying in their property for either a short or extended period of time. Some students say what drew them to live in Airbnbs were the amenities provided and the temporary housing option. However, it’s unclear how many Loyola students are currently using Airbnb or similar services to live near campus.

Loyola announced Oct. 28 plans for a limited campus reopening in the spring. Dorms will reopen, but at reduced capacity and with only one student per room, according to Loyola’s website.

Anna Svolos, a first-year nursing major at Loyola, intends to live in an Airbnb during the spring semester instead of a residence hall. Prior to on-campus housing being canceled for the fall, Svolos was assigned to Bellarmine Hall — an upperclassmen dorm and the Lake Shore Campus’ (LSC) northmost residence hall.

Svolos, 18, said she’s never stayed in an Airbnb before but she got the idea from fellow first-year nursing student Sylvia Stypinski, who happened to be living in one. Instead of opting to sign a year-long lease, Svolos said she’d prefer to go back to Pennsylvania — where she’s from — during the summer and stay in Chicago for the semester.

Some Loyola students, such as Stypinski, lived in an Airbnb this past semester. Stypinski said she was planning to live in de Nobili Hall this year and her roommate contacted her about living in Chicago after on-campus housing was cancelled.

“I honestly was kind of apprehensive at first because of the cost and everything,” Stypinski said, in reference to leasing an apartment.

Stypinski said she and her roommate looked at Airbnbs to see if it’d be a “cheaper option.” Stypinski said she plans to live in their Edgewater Airbnb again for the second semester.

Stypinski lives with two other roommates, each of them with their own rooms. Additionally, she said she has enjoyed having a kitchen and the Airbnb’s proximity to Aldi (6221 N. Broadway) and Whole Foods (6009 N. Broadway). 

Another reason for choosing an Airbnb over an apartment is that they’re furnished, Stypinski said. Most apartments usually come unfurnished or with minimal furniture.

“With the Airbnb — I’m pretty sure this is how it is for all of them — the utilities is all included. So you don’t pay for water or heat,” Stypinski said.

In comparison to the price of living on-campus, Stypinski said she saved “a couple thousand dollars.”

The cost of living in one of Loyola’s six first-year halls can range anywhere from $9,040 to $11,130, according to the Residence Life website. For many students, the cost of living on-campus also includes the cost of a meal plan.

The average cost of monthly rent in Chicago is $1,943, according to RENTCafé. However, a variety of factors, such as location, can determine an apartment or Airbnb’s cost.

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