If you’re feeling the heat from increasing life and financial pressures and thinking about moving back home, you’re not alone. In fact, many families are reconsidering their living options and moving in with their relatives: kids, parents, grandparents, all under the one roof, Newsroom UNSW reports.
Multigenerational living arrangements thought to be more commonplace in many parts of the world are quietly emerging in Australia. Research from the UNSW City Futures Research Centre shows one in five Australians live in a multigenerational household. That increases to around one in four Sydneysiders who live with multiple generations of relatives.
Senior Research Fellow from the UNSW City Futures Research Centre, Dr Edgar Liu, studies the emergence of multigenerational housing in Australia. He says that housing affordability is one of the key drivers behind the growth of multigenerational living.
“You have young people who, increasingly, are unable to afford to leave home, and at the same time, you have [their parents and grandparents] experiencing perhaps similar financial stress,” Dr Liu says.
While most families are entering into the arrangement for financial reasons, many choose to stay for the support.
“‘We find that whether forced to live in the arrangement because of financial pressure or not, people like having their family around, and having that companionship and support.”
Dr Liu says that the desire to age in place, rather than move into institutional aged care, may also be behind the growth, noting that government support for institutional care has also changed over the last 20 years.
“The fastest-growing age group for multigenerational household members is the over 65’s,” he says.
“There’s an aversion to moving into aged care for obvious reasons we see now, with the Aged Care Royal Commission, and policy-wise, the government doesn’t want people to move into institutions; they want people to live in the general community. So, more families are considering providing that care and support themselves.”
Moving back in: the rise of multigenerational households (Newsroom UNSW)