Joshua Kelly of Massachusetts is an architect with over two decades of experience in the field. In the following article, Joshua Kelly discusses compact, multigenerational living spaces.
As the cost of living continues to rise and housing becomes more difficult to acquire, two major trends are on the rise: multigenerational houses and tiny homes. What should people know about tiny homes for multigenerational living?
Joshua Kelly of Massachusetts says that tiny homes are becoming a more popular option for multigenerational living and as a solution to the housing crisis in the USA. The benefits of this practice are numerous: affordability, eco-friendliness, customizability, family bonding time, better responsibility loads in the home, and improved mental health are some of the highlights.
Below, Joshua Kelly, Architect discusses the current market in multigenerational tiny homes and explore the benefits of this style of living.
Joshua Kelly, Architect Reviews the Tiny Home Market
Although neither tiny homes nor multigenerational living are extremely commonplace in the USA right now, the trends are beginning to tick upwards. Over the past 30 years, the percentage of multigenerational families sharing a home has nearly tripled. Although this is linked to a changing demographic makeup in the country, it is also a result of the changing economy and its reflections on the housing market.
In America, the tiny-home market is gaining traction faster than in other countries. It is estimated that 10,000 people lived in tiny houses as of January of 2022, compared to just a couple of hundred in the UK, for example. The residents of tiny homes are also fairly well distributed across different age groups: 40% are over 50, 40% are between 30 and 50, and 20% are under 30.
Joshua Kelly, Architect says that despite the fairly low occurrence of multigenerational families living in tiny homes currently in the United States, the continuing housing crisis and changing family dynamics in the country will encourage this lifestyle choice to grow in popularity as the years go on.
Benefits of Tiny Homes & Multigenerational Living
Living in a tiny home with extended family comes with its own list of advantages over traditional housing. When a family combines these two living practices in the same household, the benefits only complement and magnify each other.
Josh Kelly, Architect reports that tiny homes can cost as low as $50,000 to build or buy, making them the single most affordable type of home in the industry. They also come with lower taxes, utility bills, mortgage payments, maintenance costs, and more. Sharing a tiny home with extended family only makes the home even more affordable for each member.
Multigenerational living in tiny homes is the perfect lifestyle choice for environmentally-conscious families. Tiny homes require much less energy than standard homes, and they also require a smaller plot of land; this translates directly to less environmental disruption.
Additionally, when families live together, they create a smaller carbon footprint.
Josh Kelly of Massachusetts says that despite their tiny footprint, these container-type homes can be easily customized to suit multiple families living under one roof. This may include private entrances, multiple kitchens, and more. Many tiny homes are built-to-order, meaning every homeowner has the opportunity to choose their own furnishings, assist with the layout design, and implement extra features such as solar panels and other modern amenities.
Opportunities for Family Bonding
Of course, when multiple generations of a family live together in one house, the opportunities for family bonding are plentiful. When that house is a tiny home, it is even easier to spend quality time together and strengthen those family connections. For young, elderly, or unwell family members, the closeness of the family unit (emotionally and distance-wise) is even more valuable.
Joshua Kelly of Massachusetts explains that tiny homes come with much fewer maintenance demands than traditional homes, so they are much easier to maintain. When multiple generations of a family are sharing the responsibilities of yard work, cleaning, meal prep, and more, the mental and physical demands of the home’s upkeep are that much more manageable.
Improved Mental Health
Overall, Joshua Kelly of Massachusetts notes that multigenerational living in tiny homes is one solution for achieving better mental health. The reductions in financial stress, improvements in family cohesiveness, and a simpler lifestyle all work together to make life more enjoyable for every member of the family.
As the tiny home movement continues to gain popularity and multigenerational living becomes more commonplace across all ethnicities in the country, the percentage of multigenerational families living in tiny homes will also continue to rise. Given the wide range of benefits of this lifestyle, the US housing market may see the prevalence increase at unprecedented rates.