Elder Cottage Housing Opportunity (ECHO) is not a new concept ---its roots were as a “Grossdawdy Haus” in the 1880’s when Amish families used them as a way to keep loved ones near home. Today it has enormous potential for serving Pennsylvania’s rapidly growing older population—now the 7th oldest population in the nation. Here in Westmoreland, the County averages are even higher than the PA averages, with a median age of 46.6 and 22.1% of its population over the age of 65.
ECHO cottages are small, separate, manufactured residences that are temporarily placed in the side or rear yard of a host family (related by blood or marriage) for an older person. The arrangement provides autonomy for its resident along with easy access to family or friends who can provide assistance. When living requirements of the resident change, the cottage is moved to the property of another host family. In Westmoreland, ECHO residents will be over 60, lower income, and pay no more than 30% of their monthly incomes to reside in the cottage.
Although many may be eligible for ECHO living arrangements, the ideal candidates will want to be a part of such an excitingly unique opportunity and be enthusiastic for all it has to offer!
ECHO cottages are being made available in Westmoreland County through a local collaboration between Westmoreland Community Action and Westmoreland County Area Agency on Aging. If you are a family with a member over 60 and are interested in learning more about ECHO, please contact:
Westmoreland County Area Agency on Aging
Information and Assistance
Adults over the age of 60 are encouraged to take a brief survey related to their interest in ECHO Housing and general housing needs/preferences. The survey is available at: http://sgiz.mobi/s3/Westmoreland-County-Housing-Survey