Density. Infill. Garage suites. In Edmonton, these are words that carry political overtones. But the reality for many seniors is they are facing a fixed income, and would like to age in place or near family. Looking after a house can become a challenge and some don’t need as much space as they once did. For others, growing property taxes and utility costs challenge their fixed income. Condominiums can provide a solution, but those too also come with monthly costs. Most people prefer to age in place or near their families rather than move to an institutional setting.
Enter a new solution: multigenerational housing. Be it a garage suite, a laneway home, a garden suite, or even a duplex, there are solutions emerging in the local infill climate that can benefit our seniors who wish to age in place. In a recent example from Avenue Edmonton this year a family has built a garage suite for their mother who is in her 70s. She has the comfort of living close to her family with their care and support while maintaining her independence, and they have the benefit of sharing their parcel of land with family to keep Grandma close. In fact, 48% of garage suites in Edmonton have been built for family members. These “Granny Pods” are a great long-term solution, especially for seniors with a limited or fixed budget.
Care at Home Community Ambassador Hannah Barrington is planning a similar build for her mother who is on a fixed income. It will keep her mother close but independent – and the suite is being designed with barrier-free and mobility considerations in mind.
As we’ve been doing research, we’ve found a few resources which might help you get started in exploring this possibility for your family:
- YEGarden Suites
- Infill Development in Edmonton Association (IDEA)
- City of Edmonton Secondary Suites Information
- Garden Suites in Edmonton: a private investment in the public good