Affordable Housing Security Issues

  • By Galaxy Protection
  • Dec 17, 2019

Affordable housing is a critically important feature of any modern city. If livable shelter is only available for the most well-off among us, it will push people struggling to make ends meet into a cycle of insecure housing and homelessness that they may never recover from. That being said, affordable housing apartment buildings face many serious security issues that other types of residential units don’t have to deal with. If you own or manage an affordable housing property, you should look to secure your investment and protect your tenants by choosing a modern, technology-forward approach to apartment security that keeps the premises pristine… and the residents safe.

Security Systems For Affordable Housing Units

If you’re looking for ways to protect an affordable housing complex, it’s best to be realistic about the unique challenges you may face compared to other rental properties. The service to the community you offer by providing an affordable housing residence is priceless… so why wouldn’t you give your residents (and investors) the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have ironclad site security?

Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the security problems that disproportionately affect affordable housing units compared to other residential or commercial properties, as well as some ways that Galaxy Protection can plug those vulnerabilities using state-of-the-art technology that’s within reach of virtually any budget.

Affordable Housing Security Issue #1 – Guests

It’s normal for there to be visitors coming and going within any residential property, potentially at any time of day or night. After all, this is your residents’ home — and they are free to entertain friends, family, and acquaintances as they wish.

However, the guests that come and go in an affordable housing complex need to be carefully vetted to ensure they’re supposed to be there. One possible unfortunate scenario tends to unfold like this: a person who recently experienced homelessness will move into an affordable housing unit, and many of the people they associated with on the street will frequently come to visit… or even crash with them at their new place. That’s not necessarily an issue on its face, but what you want to avoid is a random guest who uses that unit as a place to do drugs, commit crimes, or regularly sleep despite not being an authorized tenant.

You can imagine the issues that come along with this. Tenants who respect the law and the contract they’ve signed will resent this type of community-dividing behavior happening where they live. And nobody wants to deal with the liability that comes along with allowing these types of activities and disrespectful visitors to roam freely on the property.

If you think having a physical security guard on-site is the answer to this problem, think again. With high turnover, high cost, and an often apathetic attitude towards ensuring real safety, on-site security guards are not the ideal way to keep the above problems from becoming a real issue in your affordable housing complex. Instead, consider a remote guarding solution from Galaxy Protection. With an extensive network of high-resolution cameras that can monitor your entire premises in real time, as well as sophisticated tech like facial recognition, it becomes very simple to take quick and effective action if an unwelcome guest is causing issues on your property.

Affordable Housing Security Issue #2 – Fake Keys

Anyone who’s dealt with managing or owning an affordable housing apartment building or complex knows the problem with residents “losing” their key fobs… while actually giving the replacements out to their friends to facilitate ins and outs whenever the person desires. While the intention behind this is often innocent, this is obviously not the way the key fob system is designed to work… and it’s an abuse of the tenant’s relationship to the housing site to pass unlimited key fobs to random people or unknown individuals who you may not want on-site.

With remote guarding, access can be granted via facial recognition, instantly removing the need for any key fobs at all. If your face is not in the site’s security database, you’re not getting past the gate — period. This is a superior and more cost-effective way to ensure that the only people making their way onto your premises are those who are supposed to be there, or their trusted and previously vetted guests.

Add to this fact that residents occasionally do legitimately lose their key fobs — causing them to be locked out of the property at inconvenient times, and resulting in more work for your staff (as well as additional costs). A robust remote security solution avoids this scenario entirely, streamlining your housing operations and offering a win-win for property managers and tenants alike.

Affordable Housing Security Issue #3 – On-Site Security Guard Failures

If you’ve never actually paid the $150,000+ a year to hire round-the-clock on-site security guards, you might incorrectly think that they are the most foolproof way to keep your housing complex secure, even if they are ridiculously expensive. Of course, your heart is in the right place, so you gladly eat that huge cost in a good faith effort to keep your investment property in good condition and your tenants happy. Unfortunately, in the real world, on-site security guards are often shockingly ineffective and a complete waste of security budget.

Turnover is rampant in the on-site guard world, meaning that your guards will never actually get to know your tenants to be able to identify who should (and shouldn’t) be there. They will never stick around long enough to develop an emotional investment in the security of that particular affordable housing unit, and they typically take long meal or smoke breaks that create frighteningly insecure gaps in security coverage each and every day.

On the other hand, a remote security monitoring team like Galaxy Protection can become extremely familiar with the day-to-day workings of your affordable housing property, acting as the “eye in the sky” and mastermind behind the entire security strategy for your site. Whereas one sleepy security guard is only able to watch, say, one stairwell at a time, Galaxy Protection sees and records absolutely everything. The difference in coverage is undeniable and can make a serious impact when it comes to actual security and safety at your housing unit.

Affordable Housing Security Issue #4 – Trespassers

It’s an unfortunate truth that affordable housing units are often viewed by would-be trespassers and criminals as the perfect place to vandalize, hang out and drink/do drugs, or burglarize residents. After all, they’re thinking that most complexes probably aren’t taking their on-site security very seriously, and that there is little to no chance that they’ll actually be caught doing what they’re doing.

It’s all too easy for an individual to simply hop a fence and set up shop in a stairwell, doing drugs, drinking and becoming disorderly, or harassing paying tenants. This is an incredible liability for property managers or investors, and even a well-meaning on-site security guard can’t possibly be watching every single nook and cranny at all times.

On the other hand, a vast network of HD cameras installed by Galaxy Protection will see each and every one of these little hiding spots or alcoves in real time. Not only that, but two-way audio gives your remote security team the ability to interact directly with the trespasser and warn them to leave. Soon, the word on the street will be out that your affordable housing security system is incredibly strict and quick to engage. It won’t be long before criminals and the unsavory characters you want to avoid wisen up and choose a less secure building or complex to do their thing.

Affordable Housing Security Issue #5 – Parking Garages and Cars

When it comes to actual property damage, vandalism, and theft, cars are arguably the most prime target of all. Parking garages are typically dimly-lit, filled with hiding spaces, and notoriously unguarded places that attract people looking to do things they shouldn’t be doing.

It’s not going to be a good situation for you as a property manager, owner, or investor when your tenants are constantly calling the police to report break-ins, theft, or damage to their vehicles — whether they’re kept in a parking lot or a larger parking structure.

Galaxy Protection’s remote surveillance team are experts at designing security systems that don’t allow thieves or vandals to operate unseen. We’ll create and install an intelligent web of cameras and technology like facial and license plate recognition to catch criminals in the act.

One or two traditional on-site security guards can never adequately guard and keep a watchful eye on your entire affordable housing unit in addition to the parking area. On the other hand, a live team of remote guarding experts will help you sleep easier knowing that your property is actually being watched from all angles.

Remote Guarding Is The Best Way To Secure Affordable Housing 

To recap, there’s no denying that keeping an affordable housing complex or building secure is a challenging, but ultimately immensely rewarding endeavor. Although you might mean well when you spend $150k or more on on-site security guards, you’re really signing up for incomplete coverage, endless turnover, and ultimately ineffective protection.

On the other hand, the remote guarding team at Galaxy Protection can study your site, design an unbeatable and technologically advanced security system, and then continue to monitor your premises on an ongoing basis. Not only that, but your remote security team will have the ability to act immediately when a security event begins to unfold. While we record the event and interact with the suspects via two-way audio, we’re already on the phone with local law enforcement to alert them to what’s happening… all before the perpetrators even have a moment to react.

Criminals are often able to outsmart, outwork, or run from on-site security guards. But they can’t run from a vast network of high definition video cameras, facial recognition, and the local police department who have been given a huge head start by our team. They can hide from guards in bushes, stairwells, or parking structures… but they’ll still be seen by our eyes in the sky. 

Galaxy Protection has significant experience successfully protecting affordable housing properties. We stand behind our track record as innovators and elite security professionals who use our long history in the industry to design and execute unbeatable security strategies.

Be realistic about the challenges you face while managing an affordable housing property. Known vagrants, criminals, addicts, and harassers might find their way onto your premises, whether due to their association with a resident or the simple fact that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. It requires extra vigilance and the willingness to leverage the latest security technology to effectively combat the security threats that these types of individuals pose.

If you’re worried that a sophisticated virtual guarding system for an affordable housing complex is out of your price range, don’t be. Most property managers or owners are absolutely shocked to discover that, in the last few years, this incredible security technology is within the reach of just about anyone willing to invest in security.

Be smart about your security spend. Instead of overpaying for on-site guards who endlessly turn over and have no real sense of investment in the safety of your property, entrust your security needs to the veteran team at Galaxy Protection. We look forward to establishing a long and successful relationship with you that allows your housing units to thrive, and your residents to be safe and happy for years to come.

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