Elder Cottage Housing Opportunity (ECHO)
The Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging, in partnership with the PA Department of Aging, has created the Elder Cottage Housing Opportunity (ECHO) program. Qualifying residents are able to rent a small, transportable home that can be temporarily placed on the property of a family member or other host.
What is ECHO Housing?
ECHO stands for Elder Cottage Housing Opportunity. Elder cottages are small, separate, manufactured residences that are temporarily placed in the side or rear yard of an older adult’s friend or family member. It is an affordable housing option, meaning that the resident will pay no more than 30% of their income on rent.
What are the Benefits of ECHO Housing?
• ECHO cottages provide safety and autonomy for older adults along with easy access to family members who can provide assistance. Instead of having to travel far to pick up mom or dad for appointments or shopping, he/she is only steps away;
• Both the elder and the host family maintain their privacy and dignity;
• In addition to improving the health of the older resident, stress on caregivers is reduced and family cohesiveness is preserved;
• Placing a temporary elder cottage near one’s home is also more cost effective and timely than making home modifications, which are expensive and can change the permanent character and use of the home;
• ECHO housing is much more affordable than nursing home care; and
• Finally, but not of least importance, access to an elder cottage can prevent premature institutionalization of an older adult