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Why the Older Generation Prefers Shared Housing

Shared housing is on the rise especially for adults aged 50 and more, according to AARP's [1] 2018 Home and Community Preferences Survey. The survey [2] found that the share of adults who prefer sharing their home with others has risen from 2 percent in 2014 to 16 percent in 2018.

This, despite the survey finding that three out of four adults in this age group would like to stay in their homes and communities as they age. Seventy-six percent of Americans 50 years and older said that they would prefer to remain in their current residence, while 77 percent would like to live in their community for as long as possible, the survey revealed. However, only 59 percent anticipated that they would be able to stay on in their community, with 46 percent being sure about staying in their current home and 13 percent within the same community but in a different home.

The AARP survey was conducted online and by telephone in March and April of 2018. With a total sample of 2,287 adults, the respondents included a nationally representative sample of adults age 18+, with multicultural oversamples in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. AARP said that a portion of the multicultural samples came from the national survey sample.

The survey said that shared housing was a common factor for both younger and older adults. Half of all adults aged 18 and older said they would not consider home sharing or were unsure about it. However, the other half in this age group (58 percent) were open to considering the option if they needed help with everyday activities like household chores or transportation. This was a common refrain among both, the younger and the older age groups.

Most adults surveyed by AARP were homeowners, but one-third of these respondents expected major modifications in their homes to accommodate aging needs. Around 24 percent of the people surveyed said they would rather move to a new area than update their old home to accommodate these needs, the survey indicated.

In terms of what made them choose the communities they live in, AARP found that 60 percent of the adults surveyed said that affordable housing, transportation for people with special needs and fair policies that provided equal opportunties were very important for them while making a decision on where to live.