Have you ever heard the term, GrandFamily? It’s a recently coined term (my spell check doesn’t even pick the word up) in the United States that refers to a family where grandparents, great-grandparents, other relatives, or close family friends are raising a child because the biological parents are unwilling tor unable to do so.*
Did you know that there is an estimated 7.5 million GrandFamilies in the U.S? And did you know that an estimated 52,210 grandparents are second time parents in Arizona alone and out of that 13,262 GrandFamilies are located in Phoenix?**
For Grandma and Grandpa, being second time parents were not in their plans, taking on this additional responsibility of caring for children is hard on them. Many of these families are having trouble finding safe, affordable and long-term housing. Enter GrandFamilies Place of Phoenix. This new kind of multi-family housing community will provide these non-traditional families affordable housing and a community where they can connect with families just like them. Grand families have special issues according to the Washington DC-based GrandFamilies State Law and Policy Resource Center.***
- They frequently take on care giving responsibilities with absolutely no warning.
- Many of these caregivers live on fixed incomes and/or in small apartments and houses that are not suitable for children.
- They may no longer be able to afford their apartments or houses after assuming the extra expenses of raising children.
- Many caregivers are physically unable to walk stairs with children and strollers.
- If they live in senior housing where children are often not allowed, they may be subject to eviction if the children are discovered.
- The presence of additional children may violate their private lease agreements.
- If they do not have legal custody of the children, they are frequently unable to convince the housing authorities to recognize their need for larger apartments.
The GrandFamilies Place 3-story complex will house 56 apartments: 44 2-bedrooms and 12 3-bedrooms. There will also be an on site social services coordinator to help these senior caregivers. The site of construction will be recycling an aging complex that became a magnet for criminals that affected the surrounding neighborhoods in south . Developers, Tanner Properties and Alliance Property Group are hoping that new life will be brought to the area. Tofel Construction, who specializes in multi-family housing construction in the Southwest, and SIPs installer JVH Group are currently raising the third floor of this complex which includes Premier Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS).
GrandFamilies Place will be financed through a mix of Low Income Tax Credits and non-profit money. We are very excited to be part of a project that helps give families the opportunity to afford long term housing. GrandFamilies Place will be one of two of this type of multi-housing in the country (the other is located in Boston). We look forward to providing updates and more photos as construction comes along. Stay tuned!
GrandFamilies Place Apartments Project Snapshot:
- Phoenix, AZ
- Size: 2-building complex, 3-stories, 56 units, including 44 two-bedroom and 12 three-bedroom
- General Contractor: Tofel Construction, Tucson AZ
- Installer/Framer: JVH Group
- Premier SIPS Used: 23,500 sq. ft. of 6″ SIP Walls
**Analysis of U.S. Census data by the American Association for Retired Persons.