The Environmental Collective Housing Organisation (ECHO) is a not-for-profit association providing affordable rental housing in Canberra's inner north for people on low or moderate incomes.
In 2007, two tenant-managed community housing organisations amalgamated and ECHO was formed. ECHO builds on the former organisations' experience, strengths and resources to ensure that inner north tenant-managed housing remains a viable and vibrant option for people in need.
To provide secure, affordable accommodation for people on low and moderate incomes, who may be otherwise disadvantaged in the housing market and want to live in tenant managed housing in Canberra’s inner north.
To develop ecologically sustainable practices and infrastructure for tenants.
To provide a successful model of tenant managed housing (that can be duplicated by other groups in need of housing) and to cooperate with and assist other bodies with similar goals, especially those in the local community.
To build on ECHO’s identity, which ECHO members defined as:
- being an inner north community
- being environmentally aware and ‘green’
- being participative/collective in nature
- being ‘arts’ oriented
- valuing space in a crowded environment
- providing security of tenure
- having an opportunity to participate in decision making (empowerment)
- contributing to the community
- modelling an effective socially just alternative approach to housing
ECHO currently manages thirty one properties in Canberra's inner north. Properties range from 1 to 5 bedrooms.
ECHO also offers a variety of group-share options.
ECHO offers both income-based (25% of an individual's assessable income) and affordable (70% of market rent but no more than 30% of an individual's assessable income) rental options. For more details on eligibility please refer to 'Useful links'.
Prospective tenants should be willing to participate in tenant-managed housing and support ECHO's aims and objectives.
What is tenant managed housing?
Tenant-managed housing co-operatives are managed by voluntary tenant members who provide the role of the 'landlord'.
ECHO provides opportunities for tenants to be involved in the management of the organisation and encourages participation. This maximises individual satisfaction with the housing provided by ECHO and helps the organisation to deliver services that meet the needs of tenants and communities.
How can I get involved?
ECHO encourages the involvement of its tenants in the social activities, daily management and long term planning of ECHO's services. ECHO ensures that tenants are well informed and have the opportunity to participate in decisions concerning the management of ECHO and its tenancies.
Tenants are kept well-informed of the operations and policies of ECHO through regular newsletters and by ensuring that policies and procedures are fully explained wherever necessary and made available in a detailed manual.
Tenants are encouraged to attend general meetings at least twice each year. Tenants are also encouraged to be a member of one of ECHO's subcommittees (Employment, Finance, Asset Maintenance and Development) or on the ECHO Management Committee, from time to time. Committee meetings are currently held monthly, general meetings every three months and strategic planning meetings every two years.
Tenants are also provided the opportunity to:
provide feedback about the organisation's Policies and Procedures
provide input into formal consultations or advisory committees
make decisions about the management of the tenant's own complex or dwelling
make decisions about policies and activities of ECHO through membership of sub-committees and the Management Committee
provide formal written feedback through satisfaction surveys, evaluations and suggestion boxes.
ECHO aims to ensure that the rights of all tenants are respected and that the interests of all members are taken into account when decisions are made.