Evaluation of the HUD Elder Cottage Housing Opportunity (ECHO) Program

This is an evaluation of the HUD Elder Cottage Housing Opportunity (ECHO) demonstration program. The evaluation consisted of a review of background information, a review of zoning and land-use issues, interviews with key groups, physical inspections of the ECHO units, a financial viability assessment, and findings and recommendations. ECHO housing was introduced in the United States in the 1980s based on a program started in Australia in 1975. An ECHO unit is a small house in which an elderly person resides and which is placed near the home of a host (either relatives or close friends of the elderly person). The purpose of this arrangement is to make it convenient and efficient for the occupants of the host family dwelling to provide assistance to the elderly person residing in the smaller ECHO house.