The low-down on affordable off-campus housing

Lauren Frankovich

Students who want to live off campus next year had the opportunity to visit different tables and talk to representatives about available housing complexes and features at the Housing Fair yesterday.

The event, sponsored by the Commuter and Off-Campus Student Organization, took place on the second floor of the Student Center.

The Housing Fair was designed to help students find a place to live, said Eric Lyon, COSO president and freshman exploratory major.

“It’s hard for students to go to school and look for a place to live at the same time,” he said.

Paul Marnecheck, a graduate student studying public policy, said he came to the Housing Fair because he needs a place to live next year but doesn’t have much time to go out and look.

Housing representatives set up tables with brochures advertising the distinct features each complex has to offer. Representatives were also able to answer students’ questions about rent prices and which utilities are paid by the landlord.

Ben Wietmarschen, junior education major, said it is important to look at which utilities are paid by the landlord when looking at rent prices. Sometimes, the rent seems low, but that’s only because tenants may have to pay for more utilities, he said.

Amy Bryant, regional manager at Ryan Place Apartments, said students asked questions about rent prices, location and utilities. Students also asked questions about short-term leases and if the apartments were pet friendly.

“A lot of people want to bring four-legged family members with them to school,” she said.

Housing representatives also had prize drawings. Silver Meadows Apartments had a drawing students could enter to win three months of free rent.

Students were able to set up appointments to tour the different apartments, and some students were even able to fill out housing applications.

Lyon said the Housing Fair gave students the ability to ask landlords questions in person.

“It’s nice to meet landlords face to face,” he said.

COSO published an apartment directory and map for students to help them make an informed decision about their living arrangements for next year.

Marnecheck said if one landlord didn’t have what he was looking for, they were willing to send him elsewhere.

“They were up front and honest,” he said.

Contact transportation reporter Lauren Frankovich at [email protected].