Other Free Encyclopedias » Medicine Encyclopedia » Aging Healthy - Part 2 » Housing: Alternative Options - Aging In One's Own Home, Renting, Shared Housing, Mobile Homes, Elder Cottage Housing Opportunities

Housing: Alternative Options - Elder Cottage Housing Opportunities

aging elderly units independently concept

Elder cottage housing opportunities, or ECHO (also called granny flats and modular housing) are movable trailer houses that can be attached to existing homes and removed when no longer needed. The Administration on Aging renamed these accessory units in 1998. The concept originated in the state of Victoria, Australia, in 1972, traveled to the Scandinavian countries, and then to Canada (in the 1980s) and the United States (by the 1990s).

These units are designed to meet the physical needs of the elderly and provide the opportunity for them to live independently or semi-independently, but still be near family or friends. Although usually installed on the property of adult children, ECHO units can also be used to form housing clusters for the elderly on small tracts of land that are leased by nonprofit corporations or local housing authorities.

The major barriers to the development of this form of housing are rigid zoning laws, lack of public information, and concern about decreases in neighborhood property values.

Despite attention from the media and from housing professionals, granny flats have been successful only in part. Use and acceptance have been greater in other countries than in the United States. It is possible that the concept will become more agreeable to Americans as the proportion of elderly persons increases to an expected 20 percent of the population by 2030.

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almost 3 years ago

My my my what our children are paying partial or full elderly care all I can stress is WAKE UP AMERICA..this is an excellent idea..keeps your parents close and independent... I LOVE THE IDEA...I'm 69 years old want very little material things would like to finish out my life independently but closer to my children..lovely idea, my son would be proud to have me near by, rocking in my rocker on my tiny front porch.would totally buy one in a heart beat..I'm in Milford Ohio is it possible to get one already built I cannot build one ...thinking of all the grandpa's and grandmas this would be excellent for...wow just ...wow