Living Together by Deena Pantalone National Homes

Deena, what are you and the team at National Homes doing to deal with the Covid-19 situation?

At National our focus has always been about community. In light of the global health crisis, our community has now become even larger. Therefore, the health, safety and well-being of our homeowners, our customers, our staff, and our trades is our priority and focus.

All of our sales offices are closed to the public and we are doing online, virtual sales appointments with our customers. At National Homes head office, we have business continuity protocols in place, enabling us to carry on our day to day operations and the work we do for our customers. Our staff are working remotely, we are rescheduling in person meetings, we have postponed all events, and employees returning from travel outside of the country are self-isolated at home for 14 days.


So much about how we live our daily lives is changing right now. How do you see this affecting the future of the housing market?

Perhaps the only bright side of these difficult days of social isolation is being able to spend quality time with family, fostering connections. We are all learning and remembering that protecting our vulnerable is paramount.

I believe that home design can help in this. Flexible designs can give us the opportunity to adapt smoothly when we need to work from home, or to look after those who need support. Technology can make our lives easier, and bring us together, even when we are far apart. And there are so many opportunities to have touchless control over our environment. We’ve been incorporating these kinds of Bright Ideas into our designs for quite a while now.


There are so many people who are isolated from their aging parents right now or struggling to work from home while caring for children. It’s been an issue.

As Canada becomes more diverse, living TOGETHER, is a more acceptable option for newer Canadians, just as it was for my family when we immigrated from Italy. We can support each other in tough times, care for each other when ill, share our financial resources and home chores, care for the children together.


Are you making plans for this with new communities?

We already have. Long before COVID-19, we decided our future communities will include options for multi-generational living. Some even have main floor master bedrooms for aging parents, and things like separate entrances to assist with finding that line between togetherness and privacy.


What makes designing a multi-generational home different than a house with extra bedrooms?

Making a house functional for multiple families is unique. For example, buyers have said that sharing a prayer room is great but sharing a kitchen is complicated. So, working out how to be versatile and innovative with our floorplans is essential.


Are there any specific challenges to building like this?

Zoning can be a challenge. We need to work with municipalities to find options for gentle density like duplexes and homes with separate entrances and multiple kitchens.

My vision of housing for future generations of Canadians is building communities that bring people together and create more opportunities for connection, along with home designs that allow for multi-generational living and co-living, making home ownership more affordable for everyone. This is absolutely the future of housing in Canada and we need to work together to get the zoning needed.


Thanks for sharing this Deena, any closing words?

Stay safe, be well and enjoy your home.

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