Providing a variety of housing options within a neighborhood can provide opportunities for different types of households and families to live in great places, and it can also provide more desirable living arrangements for larger or extended families living together in one place. This concept is often referred to as multi-generational housing – grandparents, parents, and children all living together in one home – and it is becoming more and more popular. Examples of this type of living arrangement could be aging parents moving back in with their grown children to be closer to their support systems. Another example could be young adults moving back in with their parents, perhaps while they save up for their own home.
This Forbes piece on multi-generational housing describes the shift in living arrangements in more detail. Builders are also recognizing the trend and some are specifically providing multi-generational housing options within their developments.
Another popular concept related to multi-generational housing is the ability to “age in place”. This concept refers to the ability for someone to stay in the same community as they grow older, potentially moving into different types of housing as their lifestyle changes. For example, a family living in a single family home may downsize to a smaller home after the kids grow up and move out. The parents then may decide to move into a smaller unit with less maintenance or shared maintenance (such as a townhome or condominium). Then when the parents reach an older age, they may seek out some type of assisted living facility. The ability to “age in place” allows for that housing mobility to occur within the same neighborhood, so that people maintain access to their support systems and are able to continue to participate in activities within their neighborhood or community.
Allowing a variety of housing options within a neighborhood can increase opportunities for multi-generational housing and aging in place. Housing variety and options could come in the form of accessory dwelling units on properties with single family homes, duplexes, or other types of infill, smaller-scale residential units in existing neighborhoods. Is this something that is important in a Great Neighborhood?
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