05 Oct Multigenerational Living

Around the world, many families have upheld the tradition of multiple generations living under one roof. When the kids grow up, they don’t move out. Instead, they simply move to a bigger room and start contributing more to the household. Those who may need greater support, like seniors or young children, are surrounded by loved ones who can help manage their care. Adults can also save money and maintain an heirloom home which they can then pass on to their children.

There are many cultural and economic benefits to multigenerational living. So much so, that some developers are now designing residential communities specifically for young and old tenants to live together harmoniously; even if they are not family members.

Multigenerational living, also known as intergenerational living, is a type of housing that is intentionally designed for, and comprises of, residents from several generations. This housing model can come in various forms, such as a single shared apartment or self-contained homes in a shared complex. The goal for these unique communities is to provide lifestyle solutions for a diversely aged demographic, including affordable housing and personalized amenities.

One way to imagine what multigenerational living looks like in action is to picture student housing combined with a retirement community. Young adults and senior citizens share a living space or facility where they foster friendships and support one another, much like a family. This particular arrangement benefits young and old residents alike. Many communities offer free housing for young people who live in these developments in exchange for assisting their elderly neighbors with grocery shopping, cleaning, and other everyday activities. Senior residents often receive discounted housing and offer their younger neighbors good company, life advice, and a wealth of knowledge.

There is a certain obsession with picking apart every generation to determine how people are different because of when they were born. Multigenerational living developers have taken the opposite approach. By finding what diverse generations have in common, we’ve learned how their shared interests and needs can help them connect. Giving these groups a place to call home, together, can help us see that we are all more alike than we think.

Bruce Freides