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University of Northern Colorado students concerned about off-campus apartment complex

Lots of college students look forward to getting that first apartment, but this wasn't what some UNC students had in mind.

GREELEY, Colo. — The first red flag was the green pool.

"It kind of looked like a Shrek swamp," Dejon Bunn said. “It was just really green, and it really wasn’t being maintained.”

Then, there were the overflowing trash bins.

"A lot of the dog poop bins are just not being taken care of," Bunn said.

Things seemed off to Bunn and fellow University of Northern Colorado (UNC) students who moved into University Flats in Greeley.

"I've lived here since August, and so far, my experience has been kind of just awful," Bunn said.

Grace Dulaigh expected the complex at 1758 6th Ave. to provide basic amenities she could use.

"First our Wi-Fi shut off, and then our water shut off for a few hours," Dulaigh said.

A spokesperson for the City of Greeley confirmed to 9NEWS the water utility was shut off to University Flats last week for about five hours because Nelson Partners, the company that owns and manages the complex, hadn't paid its bills.

"The utility was restored after the outstanding overdue balance was paid," the spokesperson said in a statement.

On Sept. 21, the Greeley Fire Department also learned the apartment complex "did not meet the mandatory requirement for proper coverage by a fire alarm monitoring system."

The city spokesperson said the fire department alerted Nelson Partners to the "life safety issue," and the building managers arranged for staff to serve as an onsite "fire watch" until a fire alarm system is up and running.

"We pay a lot of money to live here, so we expect not to have to worry about our safety and our water being shut off and the fire alarms not working," Dulaigh said.

Dulaigh and Bunn said they worry about having to find a new place to live in the middle of the semester.

“We’re all students, and you know, that’s the last thing you should have to worry about is trying to find a new place, or you know, like your apartment burning down or something and no fire alarm goes off," Bunn said.

A spokesperson for UNC told 9NEWS in a statement the university had been in conversations with the City of Greeley "regarding issues with the University Flats housing complex and the potential impact to UNC students."

In the event students are displaced, UNC shared the following plan it's ready to put in place:

  • We have sufficient space available on campus and will offer a 10-day grace period for housing at no cost to our students while they weigh their living options. That includes the option to retain on-campus housing through the remainder of the semester.
  • We have begun to reach out to several groups across campus to mobilize volunteers within our university community to assist our students if they need help moving.
  • We are also prepared to connect those students with other resources available across campus, such as counseling and free legal counsel.

9NEWS reached out to Nelson Partners Tuesday morning with several questions about the situation at University Flats. A spokesperson provided the following statement:

"Please know that UFlats has been working directly with the City of Greeley. In fact, they have been meeting in person this week and again tomorrow. Together any situations that needed to be addressed are taking place. There is no validity in the rumor that the students will be forced to move out."

Students who call the University Flats home may end up leaving on their own.

"Maybe next semester, we'll definitely look at moving to another place," Bunn said.

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