Tenants say government-subsidized complex is filthy, unsafe

Jul 27, 2022, 7:13 AM

SALT LAKE CITY — Drugs, violence, bug-infested and filthy — that’s how some tenants of a downtown Salt Lake City apartment complex describe the living conditions.

The River Rock Apartments underwent new ownership a couple of years ago, and some of the residents say the new owner isn’t taking care of the property, which is partly allocated for low-income families. The property is located at 731 South 300 East.

The area is expensive and low-income housing is hard to find. Some residents here say the building isn’t just rundown — it’s dangerous and has become a hotbed for drugs and crime.

“We’ve found two needles with blood and drugs on them with the cap off,” said Desiree Ogborn, who moved into River Rock Apartments in May. She said she had no idea what she would encounter. She says the hallways are full of drugs and the grounds aren’t safe either. So, she’s creating a play area in their living room.

“I am building a playground in here,” Ogborn said. Her daughter has sensory issues and outdoor play would be much better, but she doesn’t feel the area is safe.

Brook Shipley purchased his unit in 2018. It’s still managed as part of River Rock. He said it’s become increasingly dangerous over the past couple of years, with drugs everywhere, violence and squatters.

“I’ve had my bathroom and kitchen flooded twice from squatters in the upstairs,” Shipley said. But he added that’s not all.

“In the last two months, I’ve been hearing a lot of bullets shot,” Shipley told KSL TV. And bullet holes in entryways into the complex support his claims.

The Utah Housing Corporation says a new owner bought the complex nearly two years ago. Claudia O’Grady with the office said her office hasn’t received any complaints from people who live at River Rock. But she added they have conducted three random inspections in the last three months based on neighbor complaints.

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Tenants say government-subsidized complex is filthy, unsafe