CBS: Home-Within-a-Home Niche Emerges

In the last few years, the Great Recession has paved the way for a new type of niche housing that developers say is on the radar screens for designers, reports CBS News Money Watch.

Multi-generational housing, which typically features three generations living under one roof, was born as a result of the recent economic downturn as more parents and children moved in with each other to save on housing costs. 

Space became an issue for many families that were not just living together, but living on top of each other, according to Jeff Roos, a regional president for Lennar—a builder that offers multi-generational housing in the Los Angeles area. 

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“The concept is to create a home-within-a-home,” Roos told CBS. 

These “NextGen” residences resemble homes that include a separate “near” apartment with its own entrance, featuring a bedroom, bathroom, living area and kitchenette, but does not include a stove.

The concept isn’t entirely new, as it bears similarities to au pair or “in-law” suits that were popular 20 to 25 years ago, but could be the start of a larger trend, especially as the baby boomer population ages.

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Currently, there are 51.5 million people living in multi-generational housing, according to data from the Pew Research Center, but that number is expected to increase as boomers get older.

“It’s something that’s on the radar screen for designers,” Kermit Baker, chief economist for the American Institute of Architects, said in the article. “But I wouldn’t say it’s blasting off in popularity. Instead, there’s a clear niche for this.”

Read more about NextGen housing.

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Written by Jason Oliva

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