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ECHO Housing

Discover ECHO Backyard Cottages

By , Caring.com senior contributing editor
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What is an ECHO?

An elder cottage housing opportunity, or ECHO, is a small, temporary housing unit that can be installed in a backyard -- most commonly used to accommodate older adults.

ECHO housing units are self-contained prefab homes (usually between 400 and 800 square feet) that allow someone to remain largely independent while still living within earshot of your family. ECHO housing usually includes includes all the amenities of a house -- a kitchen, a bedroom, a bathroom, and a living room -- albeit on a very small scale. They first gained popularity in Australia, where they're known as granny flats, in the 1970s. ECHO housing caught on in the United States in the late 1980s and has since been promoted by AARP as an inexpensive housing solution for older adults.