Housing multigenerational households in Australia

House half built showing timber frameworkThe top five reasons for multigenerational living are financial, care arrangements and support, adult children yet to leave, starting or continuing education, and older (grand)parents moving in. The reasons behind the trend towards multigenerational living are not quite as simple as the list implies.

Cultural factors are also part of the story. Home ownership of a detached dwelling is critical to successful multigenerational living. There is usually greater flexibility to modify and adapt the home as needs change, which is not possible in apartments or rental properties.

These are the findings in a book chapter by Edgar Lui, Hazel Easthope, Bruce Judd and Ian Burnley. They end the chapter by discussing policy implications and include the need to adopt universal design principles in all new properties and major refurbishments. They add that although these principles have been around for more than 50 years they are yet to materialise in home designs as voluntary codes  which are unlikely to be agents of change.

The title of the chapter is “Housing Multigenerational Households in Australian Cities: Evidence from Sydney and Brisbane at the Turn of the 21st Century.” 

The title of the book is, Housing in 21st-Century Australia: People, Practices and Policies.


“Over the last two decades new and significant demographic, economic, social and environmental changes and challenges have shaped the production and consumption of housing in Australia and the policy settings that attempt to guide these processes. These changes and challenges, as outlined in this book, are many and varied.

While these issues are new they raise timeless questions around affordability, access, density, quantity, type and location of housing needed in Australian towns and cities. The studies presented in this text also provide a unique insight into a range of housing production, consumption and policy issues that, while based in Australia, have implications that go beyond this national context.

For instance how do suburban-based societies adjust to the realities of aging populations, anthropogenic climate change and the significant implications such change has for housing? How has policy been translated and assembled in specific national contexts?

Similarly, what are the significantly different policy settings the production and consumption of housing in a post-Global Financial Crisis period require? Framed in this way this book accounts for and responds to some of the key housing issues of the 21st century.”

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