Multi-house Collective

 Neighborhood mutual aid

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The resources section below is packed with links to a variety of businesses, non-profits, and ideas to help multi-house collectives, neighborhood mutual aid groups, or transition towns. These links can also get you tapped into a variety of local and non-local sharing economy resources. Traditionally, community centers, service clubs, and churches have coordinated helping and connecting. If you are seeking partners primarily for a neighborhood project, see our listing of a variety of platforms that map local groups for a variety of mutual support and community-building causes, including the Transition Network. See also Green America‘s 10 ways to build community and the resources section below.

The remainder of this page is about creating small-group alliances with resource sharing that includes some type of residence sharing or swapping.


Multi-house Local Collectives

Multi-house collectives are a distinct and uncommon category. It’s similar to cohousing, as an intentional community type with private units but some shared spaces. The difference is, the houses are not next door to each other. They might not even be in the same neighborhood. The residential units may or may not be owned collectively. In the Housing Type section of the profile, some folks have selected the option “multi-house collective.” Choosing only this response option can help people find each other if they are seeking partners for local resource sharing and possibly some level of residence sharing later, as trust develops. If both your households are right-sized for the number of members in them, shared space could be a ceramic studio, a mechanic shop, a hot tub or pool, a private library, a room set up for for dance or exercise equipment, or a room set up for a specific entertainment or business purpose. Multi-house collectives are varied in intensity and type of collaboration. As a general idea, these collectives may have comfortable shared access to each others’ living and working space, while respecting each others’ private spaces as needing permission to access.

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Multi-house Multi-location Collectives

If intentional community is a form of chosen family, a multi-house multi-location collective is a form of chosen extended family. Collaborations among households might build around a common cause or set of beliefs. Shared projects necessitate group decision-making, which can lead to building trust over time. Having regular interaction based on resource sharing lets you find out what works for you individually and as a group. These can lead to long-term and more deeply beneficial resource sharing, including sharing a vacation home or inviting a member of the other household to live closer to their work or school.

City-to-countryside Swap

A city-to-countryside swap could be ideal for some households. A household with city jobs may find their hectic lives calmed by having a regular swap to get into nature and quieter surroundings, whether weekly, monthly, or sporadic. Countryside homeowners may find it enlivening to get into the city for weekend cultural events along with a larger variety of foods and other amenities. Sure, there are platforms that conveniently arrange a stay in another area, but there are important advantages to a regular swap.

  • If you are swapping with one other homeowner regularly, you can arrange the swap at no cost to either of you.
  • Your households could have dedicated storage spaces at each others’ homes, so you have the convenience of not packing and not forgetting the things you’ll use regularly.
  • You’ll be able to integrate into another neighborhood, rather than being a visitor when you’re at the alternate location.


Embassy Network: Intent on “new forms of governance and solidarity,” this group connects its members to communal living setups in a variety of nations and city locations. This can be ideal for digital nomads or others who travel as part of their work.

Smaller multi-house collectives are usually not publicized and often prefer to remain private and informal.

Consultants for Multi-house Collectives

ICmatch can help you find consultants experienced with projects and living environments that require close sustained cooperation.

No consultant found

Members Interested in Multi-house Collectives


For specific types of sharing economy resources, we’ve listed recommended platforms and organizations. These can give you ideas for many types of resource-sharing you could set up within your multi-house collective.

To start with a small-scale project, you might begin with container gardening, backyard chickens, or find a community garden near you. If you are ready for a larger project, consider joining intentional neighborhood-level initiatives or introducing elements of the transition towns movement to existing groups such as a neighborhood watch or service club. Another example is a bike repair shop that becomes a community hub.

Mutual Aid Networks

If you want to increase the community cohesiveness where you already live, start a resilience circle.

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If you want to increase the community cohesiveness where you already live, you might find that neighborhood resilience circles are a good way to develop a relationship with people willing to support each other in hard times. You might also search for local mutual aid networks. You might advertise your meetings to new members thru or Eventbrite.

Second Family

Having life-long strong social connections, including supportive friends, has health benefits.

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The world’s longest-lived people chose—or were born into—long-standing social circles. For example, Okinawans created groups called a moai (pronounced mow-eye)—groups of about five that originally were assigned to each other as a social safety net, but many of them became committed friends for life.

Dinner Group

A rotating schedule of meals among friends helps you save time and enjoy each other’s company.

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A great way to create more intentional neighborhoods is eating together. Create a rotating schedule of meals with neighbors or a friend group, to save time and enjoy more variety. You could eat in each other’s homes to enjoy the company, or cook extra on certain nights and deliver to the others’ homes.

Elder Support Groups

Aging family members eventually lose many of their friends due to death or inability to travel …

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Aging family members eventually lose many of their friends due to death or inability to travel. Creating a social support group to facilitate visits and activities could ease the loneliness many feel at this time of life. You might find interested others by creating a Facebook page, leaving notices with businesses or non-profits who serve the elderly, or thru

Child Care

Single parents can team up to share living expenses and swap childcare.

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Medical Risk Bubbles

Medically vulnerable people can stay safe and healthy while socially supported.

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Pods, also called bubbles or quaranteams, helped people stay safe, healthy, socially supported, and sane amid the pandemic restrictions. Some continue to need to limit their exposure to various medical risks. As a group, be clear with each other about the level of personal risk that feels okay for you, depending on the vulnerability of your immediate household members. Set rules you all agree on. See our in-depth suggestions

Business Partnership or Work Project Teams

Revenue sharing and mutual support agreements for professionals.

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  • If you are interested in revenue sharing and mutual support agreements for professional teams, see Enspiral as an example of a work cooperative with innovative work team management and finance sharing. Sometimes when a business is up for sale, a group of employees has purchased it to continue operation as a coop. ICmatch could help you find long-term matches for a leadership team with specific skill sets and interests. You might also hire contractors from or Upwork.
  • The ReBuilding Center is an 80,000 square foot facility that makes recycled materials available for low cost. This workplace has a shared-power culture where they all earn a living wage, with full health and dental benefits for their families. 

Minimize Cost of Living

Peer-to-peer services plus popular advisors on living within your means.

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  • If you’re looking for the “Airbnb” of storage spaces to park your car or stuff while away, see
  • A popular frugal lifestyle blogger in early retirement explains the importance of community in his family’s life.
  • Dave Ramsey is another popular finance advisor who advocates for aggressively paying off debt thru strict budgeting.

Car Share

Forming a car share with friends or neighbors close by could be a great option.

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  • Member-owned car sharing co-operatives can be found in many metropolitan areas, where you pay per hour or per mile to “borrow” a car from the service. In addition, there are websites that organize carpools for regular commutes. 
  • Lyft, Uber, and similar pay-per-use services are great for infrequent needs and for travel while away from your home area.
  • If you are looking to keep the benefits of vehicle use with less cost, or if you aren’t in a metropolitan area where carshares or good public transportation are located, forming a car share with friends or neighbors close by could be a great option, especially when each household has a vehicle and only occasionally needs a second one. Issuu tells you how to get started.

Time Banks and Local Currency

Time banks can track your contributions to allow you to swap services locally.

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Time banks can track your contributions to allow you to swap services rather than exchanging them in the economic marketplace. To see if these exist locally, use search terms such as “time bank” or “local currency” along with your location. On a related note, bartering websites such as or classified ads can lead you to a trove of resources, often for free.

Sharable Housing

Cohousing and coliving options have increased the affordable housing supply.

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Our Rental Housing Search Tips page lists the following:

  • Online Platforms for Medium- to Long-term Rentals
  • Local Property Managers
  • Online Platforms for Month-to-Month Rentals
  • Scouting Around in Person
  • Roommate Finders