Why more Canadians are embracing multigenerational households
Derek and Robyn Drews are ready to move their family into a forever home. It’s a lakefront house in Summerside, Edmonton, and they won’t be the only occupants. The couple is moving back in with Robyn’s parents.
Multigenerational households are nothing new. Nor are they unusual, statistically speaking.
According to 2016 Census data, multigenerational living arrangements – households that include at least three generations from the same family – are increasing in popularity as the fastest growing type of household in the country.
“Our friends thought it was amazing, and most of them said they’d love to do that with their kids,” Wendy Kautz, Robyn’s mother and future co-habitant, told CTV Edmonton.
Robyn said the home she and her husband are building with her parents will not be a shared residence, but “two residences,” to allow each couple a sense of privacy.
While buying a home with mom and dad might not strike everyone as the ideal living arrangement, the benefits are hard to ignore. Sharing a house also means sharing the mortgage, taxes and utilities.
For Canadians dealing with a rising cost of living, these financial incentives are among the main factors pushing them to embrace multigenerational homes, financial advisor Nathan Giesbrecht said.
Statistics Canada acknowledges Canada’s “changing ethnocultural composition” as another factor behind the spike in popularityof multigenerational living. Such arrangements are common among Indigenous and immigrant families, so as these populations continue to grow across the country, the popularity of this type of household increases.
To accommodate the demands and needs that come with building a multigenerational home, real estate developers are now adapting their businesses.
Edmonton-based Parkwood Masters Builders say more than 50per cent of their business comes from multigenerational families looking to customize their houses.
The latest data shows that 2.2 million Canadians are currently living in multigenerational homes. According to Giesbrecht, the trend shows no sign of slowing down.
“This is going to be revolutionary. I believe, as a country, we’re going to see more and more of this in the next 10 to 15 years.”
With a report from CTV Edmonton’s Erin Isfeld