THE GROWING TREND FOR MULTI-GENERATIONAL HOMES
IN 2016, 2.2 MILLION PEOPLE LIVED IN A MULTI-GENERATIONAL HOUSEHOLD
The trend in multi-generational households — households that include at least three generations of the same family — is growing, and homebuilders in Calgary are adapting.
According to Statistics Canada, although only 2.9 per cent (or 403,810) of all households were considered multi-generational in 2016, this segment rose the fastest (37.5 per cent) of all household types from 2001 to 2016 — compared to 21.7 per cent growth for all households in that period.
And in 2016, said StatsCan, 6.3 per cent of Canada’s population living in private households, or 2.2 million people, lived in a multi-generational household.
The Alberta percentage of multi-generational households was 2.8 per cent.
“The increase in multigenerational households may be partly attributed to Canada’s changing ethnocultural composition. This type of living arrangement is more common among Aboriginal and immigrant populations, which account for a growing share of Canada’s population,” according to the federal agency.
“The higher number of multigenerational households may also be related to housing needs and the high cost of living in some regions of the country.”
Tiffany Ardolino, senior manager of customer development for Brookfield Residential, says the market for multigenerational homes is growing in Calgary with some pockets of the city seeing more demand.
“Generally, when we’re looking at model development, we’re trying to keep that in mind to have it as an option in terms of our overall product offering. And that’s everything from making sure potentially there’s a home that accommodates additional parking. It might be that there’s bedrooms on the main floor. It may be that there’s a suite in the basement with a kitchen that allows full independence and privacy. It might be a third storey that allows for additional space,” says Ardolino.
“It’s put additional considerations into when we design a model. What are the options to make that model more flexible for not only the traditional family but the growing family and the multi-generational family.”
She says the multi-generational trend is because of families who want to stay together with aging parents. But the homebuilder has also seen some sibling families sharing a home from an affordability perspective.
“I think as Calgary grows and we have more new Canadians entering into homeownership, it’s probably an ongoing consideration for us to provide home choices for all different Canadians,” says Ardolino.
Colin Campbell, vicepresident of operations for Mattamy Homes, agrees that the growing trend in multigenerational homes and how it is targeted in certain neighbourhoods in the city.
“We do an awful lot of business in our Cityscape community in northeast Calgary and our buyer demographic there has been asking for it,” says Campbell. “They’ll have grandparents and younger children all under the same household, so obviously that requires (additional) square footage and bedrooms.” The homebuilder has come up with specific home designs for this buyer demographic.
“They’re designed purposely to be flexible,” adds Campbell. For example, one home of just over 2,300 square feet is designed specifically to fit five bedrooms on a second storey and a bedroom on the main floor with even more opportunities for development in the basement.
Wallace Chow, executive vice president with Jayman BUILT, says the homebuilder is addressing multi-generational living with its mixed-use Westman Village development in Mahogany Lake which has a wide variety of homes for different lifestyles and for different age groups from young to old. There are homes to buy and homes to rent in the Village.
“There’s an inherent friendliness to having mixed age groups all the way through. The research that we’ve taken and certainly the reaction that we’re getting from people is that people do want to see that. But I just don’t see a lot of examples of this in Calgary on a purpose-built environment,” says Chow.
“If you look at how we designed the entire Westman Village, the entire community is a mixed demographic, mixed in age group, community . . . When we did our research, we found that people like to have the vibrancy of having different activities, different age groups.”
9MJ <JXYRFS ;NQQFLJ IJ[JQTURJSY NS 2FMTLFS^ 1FPJ IJXNLSJI MTRJX \NYM YMJ KQJ]NGNQNY^ YT èY F multi-generational family.