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Six people, three generations, one home

Original post made on Sep 27, 2013

Since December 2011, Sudesh and Inder Bhatia have spent most of the year living in their son's Palo Alto home with his wife and two kids. Almost 7 percent of Palo Alto families like the Bhatias lived with relatives who were older than 65 in 2010 in what have become known as multigenerational homes.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, September 27, 2013, 9:30 AM

Comments (14)

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Posted by goodandbad
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 27, 2013 at 10:58 am

Taking care of the elderly is noble and my wishes to all who do that
without expecting anything in return.

All of this is fine until they add to the U.S. tax system. Not having
paid any taxes here, when the elderly claim Medical, become citizens, or are claimed as dependents for tax purposes, then it begins to hurt
the economy (ex: child care industry) and the tax system, even risking
the benefits that they enjoyed for future generations. This is really
an unspoken fact. (I don't subscribe to the proxy argument that
because I pay taxes here, my parents or relatives should be able to
enjoy the benefits as well, without due adjustments.)

While it is good to have families live together and live the way they
want, care must be taken to provide a balance between personal choices
and government benefits. There are many families who choose not to
become part of the system, but the tax/benefits system cannot operate on honor system.

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Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 27, 2013 at 11:10 am

[Post removed.]

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Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 27, 2013 at 11:20 am

PS. My family is 5 generations strong and everyone has their own home. We are still close,
I see my Grandma every day, my kids and grandkids almost every day. My parents and one of our child's family live out of state - otherwise we'd see them just as often. But hey, our cell, Skype, FB and Instagram help keep those connections strong between our visits.
My point ... You don't have to live together to be a close family.

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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2013 at 11:51 am

This is another PA Online story meant to generate bitter "anti-outsider" letters from the local trolls. The onslaught of these stores is relentless....and it is not journalism.

This comment will be deleted soon.

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Posted by New in Town
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 27, 2013 at 12:05 pm

The negatively/jealousy is surprising and unfortunate. I would love to have a mother who could be described as this one:

Sudesh said she finds pleasure in helping out.

"I am very happy to be here," she said. "I can give them time to go out, and they can enjoy their life."

They sound like lovely parents and grandparents who are likely to raise kids that work hard and are respectful of the older generation. They may sacrifice some space and privacy, but they do recognize the benefits. Culturally, I wish it worked better for my family, but ours would be more like that book described.

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Posted by Lorin Krogh
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 27, 2013 at 12:12 pm

I believe this is a long over due trend in the US. It's common to have extended families live together in most of the world. In the US, if a young person lived with his family, he was considered a "loser".

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Posted by So do we
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2013 at 12:14 pm

We are also three generations in a 3 bdrm/21/2 bath home. We grandparents take care of the grandchildren, because 2 kids in daycare in Palo Alto costs approximately $180/day! Rent for the parents, our son and his wife, would be about $7,000/month. it simply is not doable. All the money would go to either the rent OR the childcare. With nothing left for anything else.

Our son and his wife would have no hope, with those costs, of ever saving up enough money for a down payment on a house, in spite of the wif'e's small inheritance. This way, they will be able to afford Carholic school for the kids and still be able to save money. And the grandchildren get the best day care: a well-educated, bilingual granny!

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm

This article is describing what many of us have known anecdotally for sometime.

Sometimes they are packed in like sardines into tiny 3 bed 1 bath homes, and some of the new townhomes are designed with two master bedrooms to enable 3 generations.

The other problem is that when we talk about "senior" housing, it is often the seniors who buy the homes and take in children and grandchildren just to get them into our schools.

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Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Wow, once, JUST ONCE it would be nice to see as much effort and ink put into a story about local issues as this piece.

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Posted by rebugging
a resident of Los Altos
on Sep 27, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Ours is a family who have had many multigenerational experiences which have changed from time to time. My husband was raised in a his grandparents St Louis household which also contained his cousin, his aunt and uncle. His widowed mother lived in Colorado Springs because she could not tolerate the warm MO climate. They all visited Colorado Springs in the summer. Later his mother moved to Palo Alto, and after she married again, my husband came here to live with them until we married. Several of our sons lived with us for extended periods as adults, and, my father lived with us for 3 years at the end of his life. We are white Caucasians. My husband's motto, "Family is everything."

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Posted by Multigenerational housing advocate
a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 28, 2013 at 2:32 pm

I wonder if Palo Alto could solve a housing shortage if it reduced the size of property needed for in-law units slightly for people who commit to renting only to seniors, and even offered low-interest loans such as are offered to the housing corp. i could put a nice prefab in-law in my back yard for $60,000, far, far cheaper than the per unit cost of an apartment in a high-rise, and would be happy to rent to a low-income senior. If my parents get old enough, they could move in and we could care for them here. We don't really have room otherwise. (Even a 10% reduction would I believe give us the ability to build an in-law.)

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Posted by Old PAer
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 28, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Multigenerational housing advocate... Good luck! I have a yard that is more than 12000 square feet. My house is not even 3000. I wanted to add a small, less than 1000 square feet guest cottage at the back of my yard. I was told by the city that I had to have a driveway going back to it and room for 6 cars to park. Give me a break.

1200 Pine has a lot that is about 7300 square feet and they are building a 4400 square foot house and another building - a yoga/tea room of 350 square feet. Nothing makes sense anymore.

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Posted by Another one
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 30, 2013 at 9:08 am

I have a 1700sf house on a 6000sf lot. We are also a multigenerational family. We want to make our home a 4-bedroom, 3-bath house instead of a 3/2, but the city says our lot is too small! They even gave us a hard time about covering our patio, delaying the permit for weeks, because they decided we had no room to cover our patio on our little lot!

Get real, Palo Alto! Time to wake up and smell the coffee!

Like this comment
Posted by Marlen
a resident of Mayfield
on Oct 1, 2013 at 9:51 pm

This doesn't make any sense! I thought we could prevent traffic and density if we just prevented senior housing from being built. Am I actually supposed to believe that it might be more complex than that?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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