Two Family Homes
My first job out of college was working for Macy’s. I was placed in Kings Plaza Brooklyn to run the cosmetic department. I had never set foot in that area of the world until then. We explored all parts of Brooklyn including a few weekends at Rockaway Beach in the summer months. A magical fascinating place for someone who grew up in suburbia.
About 150 women worked for me when I was 21. I learned a lot about their lives. The one thing that I had never heard of before then is the two family home. Many of them owned a house that was designed with a part of it as a secondary home that they would rent out to someone. Essentially that portion of their house gave them the income to live in their homes and other costs of life.
I went to a few of those homes and thought the concept was pretty genius. AirBnb took this one step further. Ideas are rarely new but become something different. When 40% of Americans can’t cover a surprise $400 emergency expense, we have to look immediately to housing on how that must change in the years to come. The cost of housing has become so high and having a room over your head is number one.
Will we begin to see more of this concept in the rebuilding of cities and new developments? The one thing that read to me loud and clear when I first saw the “two-home” model is the community created. I like the model of two for one for many reasons from multi-generational including a younger couple living in that second home or your grandparents.
It has worked in Brooklyn and Queens for decades. It can work other places too.