I recently found the “American Housing Survey: 2009” from the United States by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau. It is a best guess estimate of residential gated communities statistics since most communities are privately owned.
The publication defines secured communities as where “…public access by nonresidents is restricted, usually by physical boundaries, such as gates, walls, and fences, or through private security. These communities sometimes require a special entry system, such as entry codes, key cards, or security guard approval…” They “…exist in a myriad of locations and development types, including high-rise apartment complexes, retirement developments, and resort and country club communities.”
Secured communities is what we commonly referred to in the past as residential gated communities. Access is limited to residents, guests, delivery personnel and not to the general public. There are good and bad aspects to this kind of community living which we will not discuss here.
ECI’s focus has been on safety and security aspects, mainly gate barriers (and peripherals such as guard booths, vehicle detector loops, automatic vehicle identification devices, protective security bollards, etc.) as well as access control devices and intercoms.
The census compared the occupied units in residential gated communities and breaks down those figures into owner occupied units and renter occupied units. Some interesting figures emerged:
- Only 9.6% of secured (residential gated) communities were secured with walls or fencing.
- 56.6% of those reported to have special entry systems (or access control systems).
- Nearly 80% of all secured communities are located in the southern and westerly sections of the country.
- The number of owner occupied (49.6%) and renter occupied residential gated communities was split almost evenly.
ECI’s focus once again is on the safety and security aspects in these residential gated communities, barrier gates, guards and access control. And the question is: “Are residential gated communities more safe?” There is a debate continuing on in that regard.
I did address the question once before late last year in an article entitled: “Are You More Or Less Secure In A Gated Residential Community”.
Jordan Frankel, a 20-year security veteran, wrote in an article on Global Security Experts: “Both Sides of the Fence: The Pros and Cons of Gated Communities and Property Fencing”. It read:
“I am of the opinion that gated communities not only provide a solid physical barrier, but also act as a psychological deterrent for would-be criminals.”
You alone must decide whether they are more safe and secure.
I guess we must wait until the upcoming 2019 census figures which will be released in about 2021 to see if there are any significant changes.
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