Few American adults want to take on roommates, much less shack up with their parents, but many are being forced to as a result of job loss or foreclosure, according to a new survey on multigenerational housing conducted by AARP.
Roughly one-third (33%) of Americans between the ages of 18 and 49 now live with their parents or in-laws, according to the study, which polled more than 1,000 adults nationwide. And they’re not just boomerang kids fresh out of college with no job prospects. Roughly 11% of respondents between the ages of 35 and 44 reported living with their folks.
The survey, published in last month’s AARP Bulletin, also found that 11% of people age 50 and older now live with their grandchildren or their own parents.
“The recession is having an impact on people of all ages, and the effects are starting to be felt at home,” said Jim Toedtman, vice president and editor of AARP Bulletin. “We see more people living under the same roof as their parents and their adult children. As Americans face tougher economic conditions, we’ll likely see more of this.”
When asked about the likelihood that they may need to move in with a family member or friends in the near future, or invite family or friends move in with them, 15% of respondents said such a change was likely. Of those, 34% expected moves due to loss of income, while 19% anticipated moving due to a change in job status, and 18% anticipated relocating after a change in health status. A lesser number--8 percent--cited foreclosure as a reason they would be likely to move in with family or friends in the near future.
AARP expects the need for universal design features such as ground floor bedrooms, walk-in showers, and lever faucets (including retrofits of older homes) will increase as more households expand to accommodate multiple generations. Flexible floor plans that can be configured to accommodate different kinds of living arrangements (click here for an example) are also likely to be in greater demand.
Jenny Sullivan is senior editor, design, at BUILDER magazine.