Where do young adults live? Last week, the Pew Research issued a report , “The Return of the Multi-Generational Family Household,” drawing on an earlier study of December 2009. One in eight Americans between the ages of 22-29 reported moving in with their parents as a result of the recession. Pew calls this the “Boomerang Effect.”
There’s another variation on the boomerang effect: young adults living with relatives or family friends.
As our correspondent (names are deleted by request) reports, “When my husband’s aunt died in June, her youngest daughter was left without a home. Since she works in the area and does not make enough money to live alone (go figure!), we invited her to live with us. She is an excellent housemate and we love her to boot!” They have a large family house and are able to give her the basement area with a full bath to be her own. “She will eat dinner with us on occasion, hang out, play games, etc., but when she says she is ‘descending’ we know that she is not up for lots of company.”
Our correspondent continues, “My sister is also hosting a ‘housemate’ of sorts — the daughter of our cousin. She does not pay rent. She has a lot of student loans to pay off and my sister and her husband want to help her, but can’t afford to give her money. Instead, they helped her find a job and hey, free rent! The house is not huge, but they all have their own bedroom.”
As I was doing research for my book, I found a shared housing arrangement between a godmother and goddaughter. They are both delighted with the arrangement. In my own family, my sister has our nephew as a housemate. Not only do these arrangements help out people in need, they also provide many benefits for those who open up their homes.
I wonder how many other housemate arrangements there are where the extended family: cousins, aunts, and uncles and close family friends are opening their houses to help out in this difficult time?
For more about housing in current events, check out this articles: When Your Children Are Your Housemates: Return of the Boomerang Kids