Saving the suburbs may be a lost cause, but you have to credit the building industry for trying to adapt to changing circumstances. Lennar Homes is now selling homes with built in mini-apartments for the kids who don't have the money to leave or the parents who can no longer live on their own. Lennar writes:
Lennar’s Next GenSM – The Home Within a HomeSM – offers a floor plan that caters to homeowners with adult children or elderly parents who want to live in the same household as their relatives without sacrificing privacy or convenience. Each home will include a private suite with its own separate entrance attached to the main home. The suite will include a great room, bedroom, bath and kitchenette large enough for a full-size refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher and sink. Connecting doors to the suite can be locked at either end, allowing the suite to be integrated into the main living area of the home or to function as a private residence.
The plans are all still those horrible things with two and three car garages to the front, on big suburban lots, but it is a step in the right direction.
“Lennar’s Next Gen – The Home Within a Home – is a design that accommodates a growing need in the marketplace while also embracing the realities of the current economy,” notes Don Bompensa, President of Lennar’s New Jersey Division. “People have lived in multi-generational homes for years and many have expanded their single-family homes to include an in-law suite, but Lennar is the first national homebuilder in the country to include homes specifically designed for multi-generational households in its portfolio.”
I wonder how the municipalities that approved these designs felt about them, whether there are restrictive covenants to limit the use of the space to members of the family. Otherwise it is creeping intensification and the introduction of multifamily housing in single family turf; that would never do.