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Multigenerational Households Grow in Popularity

The popularity of multigenerational homes continues to grow, with more families choosing to live together under one roof. According to the Pew Research Center, the number of Americans living in a family household of three or more generations is about four times larger today than in the 1970s.

The Pew data also reveals that 59.7 million U.S. residents live with multiple generations under one roof. Several factors contribute to this trend. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic increased multigenerational living arrangements as families came together for health-related or financial reasons. Other recent factors include rising housing costs and adult children staying home longer.

Multigenerational households also form so that grandparents can help care for their grandchildren, and their adult children can care for them as they age. This type of arrangement can also reduce financial burdens, with several generations contributing to the mortgage payment and eliminating expenses of childcare, retirement housing or professional caregiving environments.

Home builders and remodelers are building and renovating homes to meet the needs of multigenerational households. These designs allow many generations of the same family to live together under one roof yet have private areas and combined living space.

Features of multigenerational home plans can include in-law suites within the main home with separate areas for independent living. These often have kitchenettes, ensuite bathrooms, and sometimes private entrances from the street. In addition, they frequently include "universal design" features, which focus on maximum usability by people of all ages and abilities. Examples include walk-in showers, smooth flooring transitions, and cabinets with pull-out drawers.

Building professionals who have earned the NAHB Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation have received in-depth training on how to build or renovate a home so that the occupants can live in the home safely and independently, regardless of their age or ability level. While most CAPS professionals are remodelers, an increasing number are general contractors, designers, architects, and healthcare professionals.

To learn more about multigenerational home plans or to find a CAPS professional in our area contact The Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga or visit nahb.org/capsdirectory.