• Kevin Murphy

Britain: Multi Generational Housing

Multi generational housing which comprises two or more adult related generations residing in the same residential property is increasing with currently 1.8 million households or an increase of 38 % since 2009 in a report by Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research and CBRE. The analysis finds a number of factors for the increase from supporting older family members, lack of retirement options, childcare and rising housing costs. Most of the increase has been millennials still residing at home with their parents. But that is forecasted to change as the report indicates that currently 11.8 million people over the age of 65 in the UK will be at 18.5 million by 2040.

GRI 2019 finds that one million more young people between the ages of 21 and 34 will still be residing with their parents by 2025 with these numbers expected to triple over the next 20 years.

The report found that the typical households are single unit houses with three people and three bedrooms. Nearly 125,000 homes being converted to multi living use with most being in family neighbourhoods rather than a city setting particularly as a result of higher taxes and the increase of over 65's. Leeds and Liverpool are expecting their over 65 population to increase 15% to 19% by 2040.

Multigenerational housing is reported to have begun in Denmark in the 1970's by communities that were created and run by the residents. GRI reports:

"Each household has a self-contained private home with shared community space. Residents regularly come together to manage their community, share activities and eat. Quite often they cater for communities of common interest and are an ideal model for inter-generational communities."

Another scheme :

"Homeshare is an initiative that brings together two unrelated people, generally including an older householder who needs a small amount of help to live independently. There are currently 22 Homeshare schemes operating across the UK, with six in the Liverpool area and three in Leeds."

Currently there are 20 co-housing communities in the UK with one age-specific housing development in Barnet, London that is for women only over 50.

A project in Holland where a nursing home has students live along with elderly residents with free accommodation but must give 30 hours a month socializing with the residents.

For real estate the market is beginning to take notice as developers with 125,000 being redeveloped to help the living arrangements of an elderly household member and much younger residents live together.

GRI finds:

"Developers and residential operators are now looking at other forms of intergenerational living. Homeshare is an initiative that brings together two unrelated people, usually a university student with an elderly person. The scheme offers the student rent free living in return for contribution to the bills and providing an agreed amount of weekly hours of household chores. This helps to provide the older person with company, physical support and help on liaison with relatives."

If the trends continue it is predicted that multi-generational housing in the UK will be at 17% in 20 years or 1 in 6 UK households by 2040.

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