In recent years, there has been a growing concern about the housing crisis in Toronto. Demand for housing far outpaces supply. One solution that families are resorting to is investing in multi-generational or in-law suite homes. This style of living is standard in many nations around the world and seems to be growing in popularity in Toronto. In this article, we’ll explore how the housing crisis in Toronto is creating a resurgence of multi-generational homes and how home additions (in-law suites) and home renovations are key solutions to addressing the housing crisis.
What is a multi-generational home?
A multi-generational home is basically one in which several generations of a family live together. One way of defining this is when there are at least two generations of adults living together. Another way of defining it is when family members under the age of 25 reside with at least one grandparent.
A house built to accommodate a multi-generational family takes into account the need for adequate communal areas for socializing. An open floor plan is typically a feature of such a house. There is also the need to prioritize the desire for the privacy of the different generations through independent entrances, suites, and even kitchens. Care is also taken to make sure that other members of the family are able to access the suites in which the elderly members of the family reside in case they need care or assistance.
What is an in-law suite?
An in-law suite, sometimes referred to as a mother-in-law suite, is a housing option that many people are considering as well. They are often faced with the reality that their parents are aging. At the same time, their parents still want to maintain their privacy and independence.
A common way to have an in-law suite is to renovate the basement or the area above the garage to add a bedroom and bathroom. The suite can also be detached from the main house and exist as a self-contained unit. Although it is called an in-law suite, it can also serve other purposes such as housing guests or adult children, renting it out either short- or long-term, or using it as an office.
Toronto Housing Market Forecast
It doesn’t look like the housing crisis is going to be resolved any time soon. Many people are unable to find places to rent, and they’re priced out of houses. Although the housing crisis has been a growing problem for several years, rising immigration rates have added to the increasing demand for housing.
The economy is also still suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this has caused housing costs and interest rates to rise. This has made it difficult for first-time home buyers to enter the housing market, and more families are opting to live together so as to share housing costs.
Why is Housing in Toronto Expensive?
The exorbitant pricing of housing in Toronto boils down to a few factors. One factor is that for a long time, there were low interest rates on mortgages, leading to many people entering the housing market. Recently, interest rates have gone up, slowing the market entrance down a little.
Unfortunately, there are just not enough houses up for sale to meet that demand. Part of this is due to strict government restrictions on building, so not enough houses can be built.
Another thing is that there are high rates of urban migration to Toronto coupled with high immigration rates. One other factor is the involvement of foreign investors in Toronto’s housing market. These investors often buy houses and then place them back onto the market at much higher prices.
Rising Cost of Living in Toronto
It is becoming more and more expensive to live in Toronto. The median income of most Toronto residents is not increasing at the same rate as the housing prices, making it difficult to even qualify for a down payment in the first place. Those who do have homes and are paying off their mortgages are faced with high interest rates, making their mortgage more expensive to pay off. This constricts the money they have available for other expenses.
High prices were already an issue before the COVID-19 pandemic, but it certainly didn’t help the situation. Many are having to seek housing further away from Toronto, although the prices there are rising too. Others are left without a permanent place to live and have to resort to moving in with family or friends or living in less than desirable situations.
Benefits of Building a Multi-Generational Home
For families that haven’t yet considered building a multi-generational home, there are many benefits to think of. The first is that family bonds can be strengthened. By regularly interacting with each other, there is a great opportunity to build memories and be a positive influence in each other’s lives.
Living in a multi-generational home means that responsibilities can be shared. The family members can divvy out financial expenses, which means that each individual pays less than they would in separate households. The sharing of other resources also lowers household running costs. This type of household also benefits from the ability to fairly distribute caring and household management duties.
Another benefit is that there is improved safety. The house is less likely to be unoccupied for large periods of time. Also, if there is some emergency with an elderly family member, there is a good chance that there will be someone home to assist them.
How Multi-Generational Homes Address Toronto Housing Crisis
Multi-generational houses are a great solution to Toronto’s housing crisis. Instead of two or more family units seeking separate houses, a single house that accommodates all their needs is a great idea. With so many options that ensure that privacy and independence are still maintained, these homes can comfortably house many generations in a single home. Since building such homes takes up less space than building separate ones for the different family units, this frees up more area for building additional houses.
Alternatively, instead of building a new house, home renovations or home additions can be a more economical option. As younger generations are moving back with their parents, renovating or creating additional space can transform an existing home into a more viable and functional space for everyone.
How ODIMA Construction Addresses Housing Crisis
Rethinking how we build homes might just be the key to dealing with the housing crisis. We at ODIMA Construction build custom houses that are designed to meet your family’s needs. This increases the number of occupants that comfortably live under one roof.If you would like to learn more about our building process, contact us by phone or email.