In AARP’s 2018 Home and Community Preferences survey, nearly a third of respondents age 50 and older said they are willing to consider alternative living arrangements like home sharing, and over half would consider living in a community that provided support services to help them age in place. Even of the 51% of all adults age 18 and over who expressed skepticism about home sharing, half would consider it for the sake of companionship and 58% would if they needed help with everyday activities like household chores or transportation.

Housing models that emphasize community amenities or communal living fall into two broad categories.

Co-housing can be multigenerational or limited to a specific cohort, such as seniors. Co-housing communities generally involve privately owned homes surrounding common spaces such as a kitchen or dining room, laundry, recreational areas, gardens, and walkways. The community is governed and maintained by the residents.

Co-living spaces with private rooms and shared amenities are most popular in urban centers where younger generations face steep housing costs. Co-living can be a more affordable option along with providing a community aspect through communal dining, work, and recreation areas.

Even if you don’t work directly with co-housing or co-living developments, being well-versed in the amenities offered by the communities you serve can help you provide the best service to the multiple generations increasingly looking for a communal aspect to their housing choice.