How the other half lives: Tenure differences and trends in rental gated communities

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The current literature on gated communities characterizes residents as fearful, wealthy, white homeowners. Thus, researchers using recent American Housing Survey (AHS) data were surprised to find that many residents of gated communities live in apartments and that residents of walled or fenced communities were actually more likely to be renters than owners.

This article uses the AHS to explore the characteristics of residents of rental gated communities (the other half). Factors leading to the growth of gated communities in general and gated apartments in particular are considered. Owned and rental gated communities are compared as a first step in defining the differences between these kinds of tenure, and existing research on subsidized gated housing is updated using descriptive and trend data. The housing opportunities and restraints that rental gated communities create for minorities are analyzed, and policy implications for the growth of rental gated communities are discussed.


Demography, Population, and Ecology | Urban Studies | Urban Studies and Planning


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