A special affordable housing community was opened in Washington, D.C. today, becoming the first housing community designed for grandfamilies, according to an article from WTOP News.
The inaugural community, Plaza West, will house grandparents that are caring for their grandchildren, making 30% to 40% of the area median income.
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2012, 7 million of the 65 million grandparents in the United States lived with at least one grandchild. Furthermore, about 4.2 million households contained both grandchildren under 18 and their grandparents in 2012.
Notably, more than 60% of these households were led by a grandparent and about 33% had no parent in the household, according to the Census Bureau.
“Recent trends in increased life expectancy, single-parent families and female employment increase the potential for grandparents to play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren,” Census Bureau’s Fertility and Family Statistics Branch demographer Renee Ellis said.
DC’s grandfamilies’ “village” hosts 223 units, with 50 specifically designed for grandfamilies. It also has more than 9,500 square feet of outdoor recreational space and a multitude of amenities, including a kids place space, library and more.
From the article:
"As our city continues to grow and age, we’re committed to making investments in innovative programs — in housing, education, child care and more — that will set more families up for success,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a news release.” Plaza West is an example of how we are ensuring residents and families of all backgrounds and income levels have access to safe and affordable places to live across all eight wards.”
HousingWire previously reported that more families are beginning to live in "sandwich generation" homes, where three or more generations live under one roof. In 2016, homes with children, parents and grandparents represented 4.3% of all households.