THE GROW­ING TREND FOR MULTI-GEN­ER­A­TIONAL HOMES

StarMetro Calgary - - SPECIAL FEATURE: NEW HOMES - Mario Toneguzzi

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.”

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