Examining the significance of housing enclaves in the metropolitan United States of America

Andrew Kirby, Sharon Harlan, Larissa Larsen, Edward J. Hackett, Robert Bolin, Amy Nelson, Tom Rex, Shapard Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A significant number of Americans now live in housing that is marked by walls and in many instances by gates. While an increasing amount is written on these enclaves, relatively little research has been done on the developments themselves, the Home Owner Associations (HOAs) that run them, or their residents. This paper draws on the American Housing Survey and the Phoenix Area Social Survey to present demographic information on the housing and to indicate some of the attitudes of these homeowners. The data are used to question some popular conceptions concerning both gated communities and common interest neighborhoods, especially those relating to issues of fear and security, and to the functioning of the HOA. It is argued that it is important to continue the process of empirical research as these phenomena diffuse globally and are the focus of speculation, comment and policy development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-33
Number of pages15
JournalHousing, Theory and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • CC&Rs
  • Gated communities
  • Home Owner Associations
  • Urban growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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