A New Kind of Multi-Family Housing Emerges

A New Kind of Multi-Family Housing Emerges

Have you ever heard the term, GrandFamily? It’s the term we use in the United States that refers to a family where grandparents, great-grandparents, other relatives, or close family friends raise a child because the biological parents are unwilling to do so.

Did you know that there is an estimated 7.8 million GrandFamilies in the U.S? 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?**

GrandFamilies Place, 2nd floor up with SIP walls

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 multi-family housing community provides 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 caregiving responsibilities with absolutely no warning
  • Many of these caregivers live on fixed incomes 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
  • 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

Grandfamilies Place, 1st Story with SIP Walls

The GrandFamilies Place 3-story complex houses 56 apartments: 44 2-bedrooms and 12 3-bedrooms. There is an on-site social services coordinator to help these senior caregivers. 

Developers, Tanner Properties and Alliance Property Group brought new life into a run-down area when they built here. This complex includes Premier Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS).

GrandFamilies Place is 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 allow families to afford long term housing. GrandFamilies Place is one of two types of multi-housing in the country.


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.

***GrandFamilies State Law and Policy Resource Center


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July of 2012 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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