Off-campus housing at UB is the rule, not the exception. There are so many options off campus that where you choose to live after freshman year becomes a statement about who you are. It's common for freshmen to hear things like, "You're a real Elmwood girl," or "I can totally see you living in the Heights someday." The most popular options are the big brick houses and wooden shacks in University Heights, the cookie-cutter suburban apartments that surround North Campus, and nicer apartments on the tree-lined streets of city neighborhoods such as North Buffalo, Allentown, and the Elmwood Village.
University Heights, which spreads out for a full square mile around South Campus, has been a lively, diverse student neighborhood since the early 20th century. Though most of the academic departments moved to North Campus in the `70s, the frat houses, bars, stores, and coffee shops in the Heights are still the epicenter of off-campus social life. Thousands of students are attracted to the area for its dirt-cheap rents (usually around $200/month) and party-ready student houses. The Heights isn't for everyone, though; the threat of crime means that students ought to be street smart, and the high number of shoddy houses and slumlords means you need to really shop around. Students who think the Heights is a squalid ghetto move into Amherst apartments. Amherst places are safer, cleaner, and more convenient to campus; but they are far more expensive on average and pretty removed from the "college experience." Many urban types-art majors, theater majors, and English majors-move to one of Buffalo's upscale West Side neighborhoods. Rents are a bit steeper here, but the neighborhoods are safe (and more importantly for these students, they're trendy).