In an effort to be more reflective of the true makeup of American households today, the St. Charles Park District has changed its policy to match current living arrangements. Now, occupants residing under the same roof, regardless of their relationship to each other, will be allowed a discount once afforded only to families.
“We have changed focus to be proactive about how society is living today,” said Ray Ochromowicz, St. Charles Park District director. “For example, it used to be that a family pool pass was available for a mother and father and their kids living under the same roof. That same option was not available for two college roommates who might have been living together. They would have to buy two individual passes. Now, these two people can get the two-person household rate versus getting two individual passes. And that goes the same for any group of individuals living permanently in the same home,” he explained.
A recent article in USA Today titled “Couples of all Kinds are Cohabitating,” examined the evolving picture of today’s household composition. The article states that Americans who live together are increasingly more diverse than a decade ago. No longer is it just young couples testing the waters before heading to the altar. Now, “nearly 30% are divorced, nearly half are 35 and older, and there is a growing number of parents with children at home.” In addition, the article investigates the increasing amount of baby boomers who choose to live together. “Research from Bowling Green State University in Ohio found that from 2000 to 2010, the share of cohabiters over age 50 increased from 25% to 37.”
“We want to let people know we are changing with the times and treating residents fairly. A home’s tenant’s, whether they are a family or friends, pay the mortgage or rent that ultimately pays the property taxes,” explained Ochromowicz. “We don’t want their living situations to be a reason why they are not participating in programs or purchasing facility memberships.”
Effective immediately, St. Charles Park District registration fees now encompass everyone living in a household, regardless of their relationship status.
SOURCE: St. Charles Park District