All Under One Roof?

Could multi-generational – or intergenerational – living provide an answer to the housing crisis and the challenges of ageing? Liz Emerson reports on a TV documentary that aims to explore this, and how you could be part of itFamily

As the debate over the reasons for, and solutions to, the current UK housing crisis raged across the floor of the House of Commons on the 7 May, an interesting exercise was announced by Plimsoll Productions, a TV documentary production company. According to Plimsoll, one of the solutions to our housing crisis could be multi-generational living.

A recent report by Age UK and the International Longevity Centre warns that isolation and loneliness among the very old will reach “epidemic proportions” by 2030. It claims “there could be a generation afflicted with obesity and long-term health conditions because of current poor diets, sedentary lifestyles and alcohol.”

Further down the generational divide, over-stretched middle-aged parents are increasingly juggling declining wages and high childcare costs with how best to protect and care for their ageing parents.

Young people are suffering too due to high housing costs, student debts and unemployment and thus unable to strike out of their own.

Integenerational living

Pooling financial expenditure across the generations could allow families to buy larger properties, share childcare responsibilities and spend more quality time together. It may involve older generations sacrificing existing social networks in order to be closer, both emotionally and physically, to their children and grandchildren, but the up-side would be increased family-belonging and care returning to the bosom of the family. Social care costs would be reduced at both national and family level.

If your family would like to trial-run living with your extended family, please contact [email protected] or call 0117 307 2312.