180614 – The Future of Housing

In an economic environment where young adults cannot afford housing  and when they can the ‘homes’ on offer are infeasibly small we need a rethink. There is now a very odd situation in that if you can afford to buy a home, that home is smaller than the public sector could provide those who cannot afford to buy! An equally inequitable situation happens at the other end in that the elderly cannot afford the home-based care they need as the ‘Old people’s homes’ (as they used to be called) are no longer available for many.

There is a solution and that is multi-generational housing. Homes that are big enough to cater for children, parents and grandparents at the same time retaining longer ownership of property and keeping families together (if they get on well enough). Larger homes housing more people uses land more efficiently too in the market towns and villages we have an abundance of in the County. A side effect being that because there is a lesser need to move the property market should slow and regain a bit of balance after decades of opportunistic profiteering. Adding to existing homes to make them more useful to the family can mean a move is unnecessary. Young families staying with parents / grandparents saves on bills and child care costs. Looking after aged parents is very much easier and affordable if they are living with you.

It is a shame that the many larger Victorian villas that are perfect for such a lifestyle are being divided up into increasingly smaller apartments and HMOs. Multi-generational living is more viable now that the historical ‘workplace’ is being replaced by a dispersed workforce operating from home and communal workspaces where businesses and individuals can work from closer to home meaning commuting can, if we want it to be, a thing of the past.

Having people around all day in homes means energy use can be more efficient as heating up a house from cold at the end of every day uses a lot of energy. Similarly the use of renewable energy and batteries etc become more viable too.

Are there any developers / builders / funders out there in the market place interested in exploring this further as they are in other parts of the Country and World?