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Saturday, December 9, 2023


Haven at Elgin: ‘Luxury’ housing frustrates students

Haven at Elgin, a brand new off-campus apartment complex, was approved for move-ins to begin Sept. 7, Residents have since reported unfinished units and amenities upon arrival.  | Courtesy of Regan Grant/The Cougar

Hundreds of students are living in unfinished apartments after move-in was postponed for over two weeks. 

Haven at Elgin, the new off-campus student housing complex, sits at barely over two stars on Google Reviews. A host of issues, including multiple delays and unfinished rooms, have created a headache for students who had hoped to kick off the fall ‘23 semester on the right foot. 

Problems began to arise at the beginning of the semester when, two days before their initial move-in date of Aug. 19, students were informed via email that it had been pushed back to Aug. 31. 

“I felt disappointed and overwhelmed due to the fact that I planned on coming back two days prior to move-in day,” said senior sports administration major Ash’a Thompson.

 The announcement left students scrambling to find temporary housing options. 

“It was very inconvenient,” said freshman accounting major Abraham Hoffman. “I live in Austin, so it wasn’t like I could commute from home to campus. It was difficult because all the good hotels and Airbnbs are far from campus and very expensive.”

To make up for the delay, Haven at Elgin offered residents a choice between a weekly payment of $500 or two months of compensated rent, Hoffman said.

But, after accounting for travel and other associated expenses, the reimbursement seemed inadequate for some students.

“At first, the whole situation sounded OK with the two months of compensation,” said junior psychology major Amaiya Chalasani. “But we had to pay for parking on campus every day for three weeks, and when you take into account the amount of gas wasted driving from my Airbnb, it’s a lot of money.”

For students without a valid parking permit, metered spots on campus can cost as much as $20 per day

While management initially stated move-ins would begin Aug. 31, this date was once again pushed back to Sept. 7. They cited furniture installation and final inspections as primary factors in the second delay, according to ABC13. 

Residents, now almost 20 days past their initial expected move-in date, were finally able to move in Sept. 7. Yet even after multiple extensions, the property still needs a lot of work, Hoffman said. 

“We moved in and the building wasn’t even finished,” Hoffman said. “Some units are completed, but others still have wrapping around appliances and the plumbing isn’t hooked up. For the first few days, we didn’t have hot water and my roommate’s toilet didn’t work.”

In addition to plumbing issues, the 17-floor complex has three elevators, but only one has been in operation, said junior psychology major Jaidyn Guerra.

“The elevators don’t have real flooring in them. If it is busy it can take 10 or sometimes 15 minutes to wait for the elevator,” Guerra said.

Another complaint for residents has been the lack of a proper leasing office. Currently, the complex’s management team is housed in portable trailers. This has created issues with mail delivery and administrative concerns. 

“There isn’t even a real office for us to enter through, go to, send packages to and most importantly find staff to answer questions or get help from,” Guerra said.

A major draw for the property was its many advertised amenities. Haven at Elgin’s website touts its “resort-style” infinity pool, fitness center and yoga and spin room. The only issue is, according to residents, none of the amenities are currently available for use. 

“The apartment has a lot of vision and it’s easy to see where they are going with it, but it was just so poorly executed that it’s been a headache for the past two months,” Guerra said.

In a statement provided to The Cougar, the management team at Haven at Elgin said they are committed to ironing out issues students have been experiencing and encourage residents to voice their concerns. 

“Haven’s goal has been to minimize any inconvenience for its residents, and ownership offered residents multiple compensation alternatives,” the statement read. “We are addressing maintenance issues as they come in, and encourage our residents to fill out a maintenance request if their apartments require service.”

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