For millennia homes housed more than just the nuclear family, it's still true in what we describe as traditional cultures. In the United States and elsewhere recently more and more families are returning to this tradition, multi generations ( two and often three generations) living together.
There are many different reasons this happens: due to economics, need for care, the housing shortage, sometimes a combination of factors drive the choice. Anyone who has done it by default or desire knows it is can be a challenge, very complicated and equally rewarding. Remarkably this trend is not just older parents moving in with their children, but according to the Pew Research Center:
"In recent years, young adults have been the age group most likely to live in multigenerational households (previously, it had been adults ages 85 and older). Among 25- to 29-year-olds in 2016, 33% were residents of such households. Among a broader group of young adults, those ages 18 to 34, living with parents surpassed other living arrangements in 2014 for the first time in more than 130 years."
"But even among some other age groups, at least a fifth live with multiple generations under one roof, including Americans ages 55 to 64 (24% in 2016) and 65 and older (21%). The rise in multigenerational living among these older Americans is one reason why fewer now live alone than did in 1990."
Whether it is your adult children or your parents moving in: you'll need space!
Across the country individuals and municipalities are making strides to create more and more affordable housing. If you live, as I do in a city with a crazy real estate market that is getting crazier, you know that affordability is only one part of the problem. Availability can be as great an obstacle to being able to live near your loved ones rather than with them.
Where I live in New England triple-deckers once housed three generations of one family. The youngest members on the top floors, as parents aged they would take the apartment with the fewest stairs and the easiest access to the street. There are a few communities where this is still the way these wonderful 3 story houses are occupied. However, more often than not in a hot housing market these become condos.
As both communities and families search for solutions to this lack of availability and affordability, there are many old and novel housing concepts being created or recreated. One is the approval by some municipalities of alternative dwelling units. This can be any additional housing on the same lot for example:
A Garage Apartment
A Tiny House
A Basement Apartment
This can work beautifully if someone already owns a home with property to spare.
However you manage it if you are now living with two or three generations know that you are in very good ( and growing) company.