Mark Wilson of non-profit affordable housing developer Community Frameworks in Spokane, Washington, noting that multi-generational living is coming back, is seeking a family to purchase an elder cottage as a model for the organization. He says, “An elder cottage is a small, energy-efficient, self-contained home designed to be placed adjacent to an existing home for” to keep family nearby but independent. Utilities are shared with the main house, according to spokesman.com. AsYouAge.com says in 1947 over 25 percent of homes had three generations living under the same roof, but that dropped to four percent by 2000. He also suggested as boomers age, they may want to be in a cluster of old friends and like-minded people with their own homes and some shared space, like a senior village. Palm Harbor Homes, a division of Cavco Industries (CVCO), builds 400-600 square foot elder cottages at their plant in Millersburg, Oregon ranging from $43,000 to $50,000, not including the $10,000 to $15,000 to prepare the site. Each home has a kitchen, bedroom, bath, and living/dining combination with extra wide doorways and halls. MHProNews has learned earlier laws prohibited detached dwellings, but Wilson says in 2004 Spokane County adopted an ordinance to allow them providing they are not over 800 square feet and within 150 feet of the primary residence. He cautions that not all areas of the city allow the homes.
(Photo credit: spokesman.com/Palm Harbor Homes–elder cottage)