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OCHO Forum: Off Campus Housing

The OCHO, Off Campus Housing Office, held a informational session last Thursday night to discuss with students about living off campus this upcoming fall. OCHO states that their mission is to be a resource by providing support and assistance to all current and future students and faculty looking for housing in the greater Boston area.

In the meeting, Andrew King, representative of OCHO, as well as a sophomore at Suffolk University, discussed the steps individuals will undertake to find an apartment and how OCHO will be of assistance in your search. With the help from OCHO, King says, “that OCHO really helped me in the off-campus living. They made it very easy through their support by preparing me for the responsibilities I was going to encounter.”

Individually, when finding an apartment, one needs to decide who is an ideal and responsible roommate, the neighborhood they are interested in living in, as well as looking over their budget. OCHO does not match a perfect roommate. It is instead the person’s job to go and find a roommate that they feel is an ideal match. That roommate does not need to be a best friend, but a person that you find reliable and trustworthy living with. OCHO does sponsor a website for individuals looking for Suffolk individuals looking for roommates.

The ultimate sight the will become your best friend during this process is offcampushousing.suffolk.edu. Signing up at this site will gain you access to other individuals looking for housing that are Suffolk oriented.

At the OCHO website, www.suffolk.edu/ocho, there are posts and searches for roommate listings, apartments, and sublets. They have information on preferred broker lists, and strongly suggest not to use craigslist, because there is no guarantee that what you are looking for is actually there. The sites and information OCHO posts have been researched thoroughly to ensure accurate information for the interested party.

When looking at locations, keep in mind the amount of time it takes to commute to Suffolk University based on the area you would like to live in. Then based on the areas that you wish to live, based on your likings, keep in mind that average median rent for a two bedroom apartment for each of the different Boston areas.

After searching and finding an apartment as well as roommates, there is an upfront cost expectation. That day, after all of the paperwork is signed, you will need to put down a deposit for the apartment that day. Keep in mind that you may want to invest in renters insurance to protect yourself against fires, flooding, or even theft. Other additional cost that may not be specified in the price may include your heating, water, and internet bills, plus independently, factor in the possible transportation and food costs. An MBTA Charlie Card is a great investment for individuals wanting to live on the outskirts of Boston.

Sophie Kaufmam, a freshman from Vermont says, “I am unsure of commuting times cost for areas in Boston where I would like to live at the moment. I came here for more information just in case I do not get on-campus housing next year, and the information I learned was very helpful.”

“The idea of living off-campus next year freaks me out a lot. Especially when thinking about the things my parents used to buy and thinking about the expenses that come with renting your own apartment; it is a lot to take in.”

Living on your own is no easy picnic, but OCHO has services that can make the process less stressful. By using their resources they can make it worth the experience. Catherine Rosarion, a sophomore from Haiti, is uneasy about the idea of living off campus, due to a friends unfortunate experience.

“She lived in an apartment and some people from the street attacked her. Now she is a senior here but she had to go the hospital. Coming to this presentation was very helpful, but also in providing reassurance of the security in being on my own,” says Rosarion. “I will definitely looking for a place near Suffolk.”

If the leasing paperwork is too complex for you to understand, OCHO can assist in breaking down the language for better clarity.

Not only does OCHO show support to commuter students, but Suffolk University has facilities that serve commuter students. Suffolk has lockers for students to keep their belongs in, which are located in Donahue, Sawyer, Fenton, and Archer with accessibility by ID. They also have lounges located all around Suffolk for commuter students to hang out during class, to do homework, or socialize.

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