Affordable, off-campus living in Pilsen offers students on-campus appeal

September 16, 2013 2:31:32 PM PDT
Built in the heart of Pilsen, La Casa student housing has loft-size living with new appliances, shared living spaces, new flat screen TVs and an onsite fitness center.

And, with a location right next to the CTA station, every major Chicago college and university is about 15 minutes away. Best of all, it is affordable and cost half as much as an on-campus dorm. About 50 students live in the facility.

"It is closer to campus and a really nice experience. People help you out here. You do not have to be alone," Ulises Bahena, UIC student, said. "At home I would not have the quiet and peace that I need to learn to be able to succeed."

"I love it here. I love being in Pilsen and being so close to school," Montserrat Cazares, UIC student, said. "It is definitely getting me more involved in school.

LaCasa is the first model of its kind in which a community provided housing and support services for students in college.

"Students must be working toward their bachelor degree and be involved full-time in school and must be willing to live with a roommate," Maria Bucio, director of LaCasa. "I am the support for them. If a student is struggling with financial aid or with communicating with their professor, I step in. I am their support."

"This is better than where I use to live. That was farther and my roommates are very respectful," Karina Juarez, Northeastern student, said.

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