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“Multigenerational living has been increasing since the economy took a hit,” says Donna Butts, executive director of the intergenerational advocacy group Generations United (GU).
In fact, the number has almost doubled since 1980, according to Pew Research.
With so many people living together under one roof, housing trends are changing, too.
Half the architects polled in a recent American Institute of Architects survey said that an increasing number of clients are looking for multigenerational housing, and 37 percent of Realtors in a national Coldwell Banker survey reported more buyers looking for homes that accommodate multiple generations.
“Between my husband and me, we have a mortgage-size student loan debt every month, so Judy’s financial contribution really helps,” Amy says.
“But there’s so much more than just financial benefit.
We’re doing the ‘village’ thing—my kids are getting a better sense of what it means to be a family.” The Mc Gloughlins gave up some privacy when Judy moved in—“Charlie can’t sit around the living room in his boxers,” Mc Gloughlin says—but they’re more than happy to share their home and everything in it.
“Our house gets so much use that I have a hard time keeping the living room floor from having crud on it—and that’s okay,” Amy says. It’s practicing our values.” Three Generations Under One Roof The Mc Gloughlins are part of a new normal, one in which 17 percent of the population—or about 54 million Americans—now live in multigenerational households.
After a tough day at the church where she works as pastor, Amy Yoder Mc Gloughlin comes home and confides in her mother-in-law, Judy, who has lived with her family in a five-bedroom home in Philadelphia for nine years.
Amy turns to Judy regularly for advice, support and child care for her son, Will, 11, and daughter, Reba, 8.
Judy cooks dinner for the family every Thursday and pushes Amy and her husband, Charlie, out the door for a date night every now and then.
Amy can’t imagine how the family would function without her.