Described by the Chicago Daily Southtown Wednesday as a "shabby brick two-flat" in Calumet City, the apartment where Keyes has taken up residency is in a working class neighborhood.
Keyes was required to establish a residence in Illinois to compete in the November election against Democrat Barack Obama. Illinois law requires candidates to be in residence by Election Day.
However, Keyes's aides said the location will provide him with a first-hand view of a racially diverse area "facing unique challenges."
Not everyone in the suburban city of 39,000 quite believes it.
"I'd think someone like him could get a better neighborhood than this," said Shalonda Lawrence, who will be Keyes' downstairs neighbor.
And the technician sent to hook up the gas service, Jerry Brown, said it seemed too far-fetched.
"He could afford something better," Brown said from his truck. "He's not that crazy."
Meanwhile, Keyes hasn't abandoned his real home back in Maryland's wealthiest county, Montgomery, where his 4,066-square-foot, two-story home has an appraised value of $543,860, the newspaper said.