With the number of over-65-year-olds set to double, and childcare more expensive than ever, 'Multigenerational houses' may be the answer.

This article titled “Germany's ‘multigeneration houses' could solve two problems for Britain” was written by Philip Oltermann in Pattensen, for The Guardian on Friday 2nd May 2014 05.00 UTC

In Pattensen, a small town of 13,000 just south of Hanover, pensioners play cards to the echoing tick-tock of a grandfather clock. It might be a melancholy scene – if it wasn't for the squeals of delight coming through the open door from the nursery on the next floor.

The nursery and the sitting room are part of a Mehrgenerationenhaus, literally a “multigeneration house”, which is a kindergarten, a social centre for the elderly and somewhere young families can drop in for coffee and advice. In theory, the sitting room is reserved for the over-60s, but in the practice the door to the kids' area rarely stays closed for long.

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