Jenni Snyder, 21, lives in one of Chicago’s new mixed-income housing developments called Roosevelt Square.
“I enjoy living in this new development, and I love how close it is to campus,” said Snyder. “Everything I need is all right here.”
Snyder, who moved into Roosevelt Square in June 2010 and is a student at the , located on the cagoNear West Side in Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood, Roosevelt Square includes 35 city blocks of newly developed public housing units, apartments, condos, and townhouses, according to thecha.org. It was built to replace the ABLA (Jane Adams, Robert Brooks, Loomis Court, Grace Abbott, Robert Brooks) homes.
“Living by public housing isn’t bad at all,” said Snyder. “You would think that it would be because of the history of the Chicago Housing Authority, but redeveloping this area was much needed.”
According to the Chicago Housing Authority, Roosevelt Square has 253 public housing units.
“I actually am renting my place through an owner with my roommates. We found this to be much cheaper than living in the dorms,” said Snyder.
Snyder and her three roommates pay $2,500 a month and have a one-year lease. According to housing.uic.edu, living in a dorm costs each student $9,526 per academic year.
Snyder said she feels safe living in the neighborhood.
“Safety is important when living in Chicago, no matter where you live,” said Snyder. “When I decided to live here instead of the dorms, I did look at where I would feel safer.”
According to Chicago.everyblock.com, more than 30 crimes have been reported within the last week in the 60607 area code. Theft, battery and vandalism are the most common crimes in the area.
“I never had any problems with anyone on my street. Everyone seems to be friendly,” said Snyder.
Another area resident, Stephanie Giata, 21, is also a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Giata, who is pursuing her undergraduate degree in Education, lives across the street from Roosevelt Square.
“From where I live, off of Taylor and Racine, I feel safe living across from the apartments,” said Giata. “However, I have walked through the alleys once leaving a friend’s house, where I did feel a little uneasy.”
Several students said Roosevelt Square is an ideal place to live while attending area colleges and universities. Jacqueline Marie, 22, also a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, lives across from Roosevelt Square.
“I think the area is fine for students, it is so close to campus and so close to many restaurants and bars. The area does not seem bad or look like a bad neighborhood,” said Marie.
According to thecha.org, Roosevelt Square was given a Chicago Neighborhood Development Award as the 2007 Outstanding For-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project.
“I think it is great affordable housing. From what I have seen, the apartments are nicely finished for their price. It also looks very nice from the outside,” said Giata.
The new development of Roosevelt Square has brought in many new businesses. According to thecha.org, since the development of Roosevelt Square, a new retail shopping center, new grocery store and a new state-of-the art fire station have been built. A new 12th District Police Station is being planned for the area, according to the housing authority website.
“I think it’s amazing how much this area has changed,” said Snyder. “The Chicago Housing Authority has really come along ways.”