In Austin, Texas, the Alley Flat Initiative aims to increase the city’s affordable housing stock and make it easier for families to add new units to their property. The Initiative helps families plan, design, and build an additional flat on their properties to accommodate extended family members. Through this process, an adaptive and self-perpetuating delivery system is created that promotes efficient housing designs and innovative methods of financing and homeownership that benefit all neighborhoods in Austin.
How real estate is responding to multigenerational living
According to Jason Biddle, a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS), the growing trend of multigenerational living has changed the types of homes that single-family volume builders are developing. Not only are builders constructing homes with more square footage, they’re including a separate wing for extended family members. “Many national home builders have introduced new products marketed to multigenerational homebuyers with features like a first-floor master, larger square footage, and even a separate-but-connected apartment suite to help maintain privacy,” says Biddle.
According to Weaver, most homes in Virginia are built with a basement and bath roughed in. “Builders understand that families are increasingly taking in older family members or expanding living space for themselves as they age and families grow. It’s almost unheard of in new developments to not have these features in the designs,” says Weaver.
In an interview with the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, James Timberlake, partner at award-winning architecture firm KieranTimberlake, says, “In urban situations, where space is more precious, decisions have to be made about the value of the lot, and what you can build, and how many units you can build in that particular area, and whether or not there’s a market for that kind of multigenerational experience. I think what you’re seeing is that developers see this niche, and it’s a niche that more and more people desire.”
Read more: American Home Shield review.