Fri | Apr 19, 2019

Letter of the Day | Gated communities better option for returning residents

Published:Wednesday | March 13, 2019 | 12:10 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The murders of ­returning residents in 2018 have generally occurred at the homes of the residents. The ­murders were carried out by either thieves, workmen, ­employees, or acquaintances of employees. Unfortunately, to ­reduce the risk of harm to ­returning residents, they should consider reducing their ­exposure to these groups of individuals. The most effective way of ­reducing exposure is by living in a gated community.

I attended the Jamaica Christian Diaspora conference in Kingston last year and was hosted by one of the organisers. The house was situated in a gated community. On arriving at the premises, I noted that the security posts were manned.

In contrast to many houses, there were no padlocked gates or verandah grilles to navigate, just a single front-door key. The dwelling was not large but was ­comfortable, all the living space a returnee would need and with enough yard space to plant a few trees.

STORIES OF GRIEF

Of course, Jamaicans want to build a dream home, but there are many stories of the grief ­returning residents face as they attempt to have their dream home built while still working in the cold. A ­reasonable alternative is a finished structure in a gated community where only one key is required. Larger houses are often difficult to maintain, and as we get older, it will be more difficult to go upstairs.

At the place I was staying, in the morning, we did our walk around the well-manicured common area, unmolested by barking dogs or two-legged predators. On our route, we saw pools, basketball and tennis courts, and a clubhouse for indoor sporting activity.

Many of our retirees are afraid to go on morning walks in their communities. This community was bustling with early-morning walkers, and although a walking companion is not required in the community, you could certainly find one. Brisk walking and other sporting activities are essential for a healthy retirement.

During our walk, we were advised that helpers and ­gardeners had to register with security, and whenever their services were no longer required, they would be denied access to the premises. Another benefit is assistance with transportation during a medical emergency.

Returning residents should ­consider purchasing a gated ­property in proximity to the part of the island that they would like to visit most.

Savings from purchasing a cheaper, smaller home that is ­easier to maintain will allow increased expenditure in procuring a comfortable and reliable vehicle. The returnee will, of course, not have to worry about the security of the vehicle when they need to travel back to colder climates, as it will be gated.

EMILE GRANT

Sudbury, Ontario

Member of the Jamaica Diaspora Crime Intervention and Prevention Task Force

emiledgrant@yahoo.ca