SURVEY: Nearly 63% of Moms Say Their Adult Children Are Unprepared To Live On Their Own, Over One-Third Unwilling or Unable To Pitch In Financially

affordable housing

This Mother’s Day finds moms anxious about affordable housing for themselves and their families

This Mother’s Day, adult children living with their parents might consider moving out as a gift to mom, if they’re financially prepared to do so. According to a new survey of 1000 mothers by The NHP Foundation, a not-for-profit provider of service-enriched affordable housing, many are concerned about the ability of their adult children to live on their own. Nearly a third (29.86%) of the moms queried are anxious about their grown children needing to stay with them for an extended period of time. Here’s a look at what else concerns today’s moms.

Failure to launch?

Nearly 63% of moms say their adult children are not fully prepared to live on their own.

Only 30% of moms say that their adult children who live with them are actively looking for other places to live, and less than half (41%) say their kids pay rent. On the bright side, 67 % of the adult children help around the house, and 65% of them are employed.

The mom cohort is very aware that their grown children don’t have it easy. Ninety percent are concerned about rising housing costs, with 43% saying they are “very concerned” on their kids’ behalf. And nearly 40% of moms worry at least once a day about their adult children’s ability to afford desirable housing.

Yet, some moms are either unwilling or unable to offer financial help once the kids do move out. Only one-third of moms would co-sign a loan for their children, and even fewer (24%) would help subsidize rent or a mortgage. Nearly 36% say they aren’t prepared to help their adult children financially in any way.

Moms rule the roost

Fifty-two percent of those surveyed make family financial decisions either alone or with “some input” from a partner. 

These moms operate as family CFOs, taking a more active role in family finance and investments – not surprising since women make up 47% of the nation’s workforce. “Women wield more and more influence in the management of personal and family finances,” comments NHPF CEO Richard Burns, “Thirty seven percent of married women are now the breadwinners in their families. That statistic alone made it crucial for us to tap into this group and gauge their thoughts about housing for their family.”

Many women live with extended family. Seventeen percent of those with a partner and children also report parents or other relatives living with them, emblematic of the modern “sandwich generation.” Coined by social worker Dorothy Miller in 1981, the term refers to women in their 30s and 40s who were sandwiched between young children and aging parents as the primary caregiver for both. But The NHP Foundation’s Burns has expanded the term’s definition beyond health to other basic needs such as housing, finding that those who fall under this new “sandwich generation” bracket have a new set of housing anxieties.

New administration brings concerns

Nearly 40% of moms in the survey say they have no confidence that the new administration will make affordable housing a priority.

This is coupled with worries about affording rent or mortgage – 56% of those surveyed worry about affording those payments. Nearly 74% are concerned that they or someone they know will find themselves “cost-burdened,” defined as spending more than 30% of one’s income on housing.

Is there a bright side for anxious moms this Mother’s Day?

According to NHPF President and CEO Burns, his organization is looking to the government to continue such successful programs as LIHTC (Low Income Housing Tax Credit), which gives incentives to private equity for the development of affordable housing. Explains Burns, “LIHTC is vital to enabling providers to offer stable, long-term affordable housing options”.

The NHP Foundation is going even further to find solutions to help alleviate family concerns about housing. The organization is looking at new private and public partnerships designed to increase its stock of quality affordable housing. NHPF has also been selected by the University of Virginia School of Public Policy as part of a study seeking new models to help ensure that this and future generations are able to afford desirable places to live.

Other recent research undertaken by NHPF has found that that 75%  of Americans worry about losing their housing. The organization determined that 76% of millennials have made compromises in order to find affordable housing and, finally, a third of Baby Boomers report “housing affordability” anxiety at least monthly.

For more information on this research and The NHP Foundation, please visit

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