BIPOC Culture-focused

photo by Anna Tarazevich

ICmatch is set up to support the creation of intentional communities of diverse sizes, missions, and values. Most people interested in intentional community believe that diversity can be a strength, by bringing multiple perspectives and capacities together. However, some groups that have been at times marginalized by the larger society understandably feel that the place they call home is most welcoming when filled with people who share their lived experience and subculture. While it is illegal to make race and ethnicity a barrier to housing rental or purchase, forming a group and then finding housing together is acceptable. In the steps below, read more on this topic.


Steps to build a BIPOC-serving intentional community

  1. Make sure your founders team has a member of the specific BIPOC group you intend to serve. This ensures that you have intimate and consistent understanding of challenges faced by BIPOC people.
  2. If you are inspired by the topic of equity for Black, indigenous, and people of color, you can indicate this interest in your profile responses. In the first profile category Community Type, select the item BIPOC culture-focused commune. Further, ICmatch has resources listed below that can help you respectfully describe what you believe will work for your community.
  3. Make sure you are capable of staying in compliance with fair housing law in your jurisdiction. You may need to ensure that designating residences for BIPOC is not in violation. Typically, low-income housing is allowed, and if you are serving a specific neighborhood with high percentage of the ethnic group you seek to serve, they are likely to self-select. If your organization has non-profit status with a mission specifically including reparations, cultural affirmation, or language immersion, this may allow you to justify your exclusion of other ethnic groups.
  4. Plan whether you are going to provide additional services, in addition to housing, that may be needed by the population served.
  5. If you plan on additional services, you might add to your leadership team or advisory board someone who has worked in a related non-profit and is familiar with the challenges of those serving and served.
  6. Use to build up your core leadership team and other values-aligned volunteers who might work on site in exchange for room and board.
  7. Create your business plan and grant proposals. To be eligible for more grants, you might team up with a non-profit or government office that works with the population you are committed to create culturally affirming housing for.


The following examples focus on student housing, because these are the most prevalent examples of housing focused on an ethnic or language group.

Indigenous students: The University of Alberta, University of Oregon, and University of Minnesota are examples of offering student housing that specifically serves this group.

Latino Living Center: Cornell University provides this housing with culturally-relevant activities. Similarly Casa Latina at Knox College houses students committed to sharing their culture with others on campus. Considered a cultural center, it presumably offers a location to practice the Spanish language.

Black Affinity Housing: Western Washington University states this program “does not discriminate on the basis of race….no student is excluded from joining it. The community welcomes all residents who are interested in exploring and celebrating the diversity of Black and African American people and culture.” Their goal is “fostering a sense of belonging for all residents by creating a safe environment for open, honest, and sometimes challenging dialogue, to assist members of historically marginalized identities in supporting each other.”

Consultants for BIPOC-serving Intentional Community

Members Interested in BIPOC-serving Intentional Community

No member found


Kheprw Integrated Fund: The Indianapolis Community Land Trust will work to equip Black, brown, and low-income residents to create permanently affordable housing.

Grants: General information and more lists can be found at this page. The following lists are ordered internally by state. These include grants or scholarships can be applied for by individuals. You do not need to have non-profit status or be under the umbrella of a government agency.

Grants for Indigenous American heritage in the U.S.

Grants for Latin American heritage in the U.S.

Grants for African American heritage in the U.S.

Grants for Asian and India heritage in the U.S.

Grants for refugees in the U.S.


Traditional Native American Farmers Association (TNAFA): includes Latin American and tribe-related informational resources

BIPOC Intentional Community Council: This group is doing ground-breaking work, including support thru grants.

Exploring the Resilience of Black Intentional Communities: From the Foundation of Intentional Communities, a panel discussion about Black intentional communities and challenges faced by Black founders

Cohousing in a multicultural U.S.A.: This article recognizes that cohousing could potentially “further emphasize already existing American patterns of residential and social segregation.”

Diversity and Inclusion: This page covers some difficult topics about groups that have often been marginalized and tries to give you some language that can help you respectfully describe what you believe will work for your community.

Physical security: Safety from external intruders is an extra concern in some areas.

Service-based intentional communities: On Facebook or other social media you may find affinity groups where people advertise or seek out housing options or other supports that are BIPOC friendly and interested in supporting disadvantaged minorities.

Social justice work: Some intentional communities organize as a way to share resources as they work on shared causes.