DIEGO — Multigenerational housing, a trend borne out
of need that took hold during the Great Recession, is
still going strong 10 years later.
since the 1950s have this many U.S. households included
two or more adult generations. According to the Pew
Research Center’s latest data, taken in 2014, more
than 60 million people — about 19 percent of the U.S.
population — live with more than one generation (not
including minors) under one roof. In the 1950s, it was
households often include young adults living at home or
older parents living with their adult children and their
grandchildren. Increased longevity and a growing
immigrant population in which this living arrangement is
more common are both contributing to this shift in
family dynamics, as is the rising cost of housing, which
is keeping millennials home longer.
are responding by including flexible living space and
downstairs guest suites that offer privacy. Two builders
with San Diego-area developments are taking it a step
further: They offer multigenerational suites, designed
for extended stays.
Homes offers a GenSmart Suite that features a separate
entry and its own living and dining space. Options for
kitchenettes and laundry are also available. The suite
can add as much as $25,000 to the cost of the home,
according to Curbed.com, but the ultimate savings of
combining two households will be substantial. Pardee
offers GenSmart options for its Verana homes in Pacific
is another builder with a multigenerational option,
called NextGen. Advertised as "The Home Within a
Home," this option can also include a living area
and kitchenette, plus a single-car garage. NextGen homes
are available at Lennar’s Crown Point in San Elijo
Hills and at Pradera in Escondido. CalAtlantic Homes, a
division of the Lennar Company, also offers
multigenerational options at Tavara Ridge in Clairemont.
some may shudder at the thought of having their
mother-in-law under the same roof, the benefits are
numerous, especially if there are private spaces for
everyone involved. Not only is there significant
financial savings, but a household with an extended
family provides additional emotional support for
children. Built-in childcare eases stress on parents and
helps grandparents stay active both physically and
family connections can also help keep our aging
population healthier. By 2035, more than one in five
adults will be 65 or older, and many of those feel cut
off from society. According to the AARP Foundation’s
Connect2Affect website, more than 8 million adults 50 or
older are affected by isolation. Prolonged isolation can
have the same health risks as smoking 15 cigarettes a
day, the site says.
families living together is the norm in many cultures.
In the United States, Asian families are the most likely
to live in a multigenerational household, according to a
Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau
surveys. The study, published in 2016, showed that 28
percent of Asian households surveyed were
multigenerational; black and Hispanic households, 25
percent each; and white households, 15 percent.
started as a need during the economic downturn a decade
ago has turned into a choice for many homeowners. And
with more builders taking note of this trend, the
options for peaceful coexistence are increasing.