Multi-Generational homes are commonplace in most parts of the world but less so in Canada. Having said this they are gaining traction as an alternative to more expensive options for extended families. There are currently more than 511,700 grandparents in a shared home with their grandchildren also living with one or more persons from the middle generation.
In some cultures it is typical and expected that multiple generations of families live together but these families make up a small percentage of those in Canada. The following are some of the reasons for this growing segment of the home market in Canada:
- Financial reasons that include shared housing costs, to counter rising housing costs, and to help family members who may be or become unemployed;
- Family reasons such as strengthening family ties, helping with children and aging family members and having others to keep an eye on the home while some members are away, and providing a more flexible schedules for all members;
- Health reasons that include assisted living help and to take care of family members with long-term health issues;
- Social reasons that include preventing a sense of social isolation.
- Factors such as the high cost of living, especially in major urban areas, tough job markets particularly in smaller communities and high student debt load all contribute to reducing the stigma of adult children living at home.
Over 40 percent of 20-29 year old current live in the parental home. At the other end of the scale parents moving in with grown children are contributing to a growing percentage of growing multi-generational homes. The average age of Canadians is continuing to rise with more than 16% over age 65.
The layout of multi-generational homes is often a point of discussion and planning. All people like to have their own space and privacy but still retain an ability to be supported or supportive in some way. Features of homes are also a consideration and stairs for elderly people are one of the most common. Many towns and cities have become aware of this new need and they are loosening bylaws to facilitate the construction of these types of homes or renovation of existing homes to meet these needs. Suites within homes have always been with us to help with mortgages but these types of homes within homes go a step beyond merely having a suite or suites within a home.
Multi-generational homes may offer separate entrances, the additions of one or more wings onto the homes having extra bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens, wider doors and hallways, separate living spaces connected by hallways and common areas. The layout and features are only limited by the needs of the family and the resources available to them.
Check out Comox Valley MLS listings to view multi-generational homes in the Comox Valley region. The main part of the home has an inlaw suite and it connects via a hallway to a 2 bedroom condo-like living accommodation.