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Multigenerational housing is back and it’s gaining popularity, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Living spaces that house older adults, their children or grandchildren landed on the NAHB’s 2012 list of the hottest design trends for new homes. This isn’t the first time that multigenerational housing has been a popular choice among Americans. By the end of the Great Depression, about 25% of the U.S. population lived in multigenerational households, according to Senior Housing News.
That number dropped to 15% in 1950 and to 12% in 1980. But now, as the nation struggles to recover from the economic downturn, home sharing among the generations is beginning an upward trend to 17%.
Not all multigenerational housing looks alike. Some developers are simply splitting large homes in two and providing a separate entrance for each generation. Others are looking for new ways to build mixed-age living spaces. One idea is to include dual master bedroom suites under one roof, or to build “in-law” apartments with their own separate functionalities.
Still others are addressing the multigenerational trend by converting garages into living spaces for older adults, or installing stand-alone “Granny Flats” that can house older relatives in the backyards of their adult children.
In addition to multigenerational living, 3 other trends were listed on the NAHB’s 2012 list: