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Housing Trends: Multigenerational living is on a growth path
What is a multigenerational household? A multigenerational household is defined as members of three or more generations living under one roof and it’s becoming more popular in the US. A quarter of Americans are now living in multigenerational households, and housing developers are paying attention to the new structures that support this trend.
The reasons behind the multigenerational living trend range from economic to cultural to need for elder care, but it’s no doubt that the practice is growing in popularity. Ninety-eight percent of multigenerational families say their arrangement is successful due to the ease of providing care for one or more family members, better financial situation, and positive impact on mental and/or physical health.
Families choosing to live with younger and older generations have unique needs for a flexible home design and location. Features such as senior living spaces with accessibility fittings, larger kitchens, and play spaces to accommodate all dwellers make a home functional for multigenerational living. Builders are taking note of the trend and adapting single family homes to be more like duplexes and cottage courts of decades past with a main house structure for the core family unit, a wing for the grandparents and a third area for kids to play. A shared courtyard is often a great feature for family outdoor activities. Location is also a factor as some family members need to drive and some will need to walk, so walkability becomes important. Retrofitting existing residences takes funding, but once the dwelling is updated to work for a large family, the costs are justified by the affordability overall.