Forming an intentional community goes deeper than sharing housing or living in the same housing cluster. Camaraderie and a shared purpose are part of it. Sociologists have identified three conditions to making close friends: proximity, repeated unplanned interactions, and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other. Many writers have commented on the difficulty of maintaining friendships in our busy lives, and of making friends of the quality that some of us might have taken for granted during college years when sociability was intense and frequent. Intentional community is an opportunity to recapture a sense of social enjoyment, as well as offering significant practical benefits, in exchange for the inconvenience of having to frequently consider others’ needs and preferences.

Group Types

The group types pages are intended to point you to the best resources for creating successful ICs of the type you’re interested in. You’ll find multiple resources for setting up time-tested frameworks for effective cooperation.

Vocation-creation With Community as a Work Team

Groups planning these types of ICs should be compatible as a leadership team. They may co-own or collectively operate a business or project. They may or may not live in the same building as each other or in the same facility where they work, but while closely sharing space, they will need a high level of compatibility and cooperation.

Shared Living Space, Relationship-focused, Location-flexible

More than other group types, these often share close proximity. They might want to share living space in the case of life partners, or they might need to share space to cut costs. Living in the same house means it’s important to have compatibility in a lot of areas that communities with separate household units don’t have to be as much concerned with. ICmatch in-depth profiles are ideal for helping you assess compatibility.

Separate Residence, Relationship-focused, Location-flexible

While these group types share recreational or work resources, they don’t necessarily share living space on a consistent basis. They still have shared decision-making about their projects or shared resources.

Place-focused for Long Term

In some of these cases, the focus may be more on the cost-savings of shared property, but we still all value good neighbors. What these types of groups have in common is that finding a location they agree on is a crucial first step.

For groups that meet unique purposes not included here, be sure to search for group profiles using the search function at the Members page. The non-residential project group type could give you multiple ideas and links to resources for types of sharing your residential IC could try out.


Is there a group type above that matches your intended IC? You may consider subscribing to a paid membership to get your profile posted on a group type page.

During 2022 subscribers can pay a monthly listing fee of $3 to be featured on pages for the group types listed above, or you could ask to be featured for free based on a pro-social mission and a fully completed profile.

See the FAQ What do I get from becoming a subscriber?

Group Development

Which of these stages of co-housing are you ready for?

Forming-phase group with location flexibility

  • Forming-phase groups may have a goal of a residential community that is immediate or years away.
  • You may be invested in getting the best fit in personality and values before you together decide on an exact location.
  • You may be saving up and waiting to discover affordable land or build multi-unit co-housing.
  • In this phase, ICmatch gives you the ability to search for and contact potential members whose detailed profiles help you identify compatibility. You can advertise your group as a forming group without a set location.

Forming-phase group with location stability

  • In this phase, you may have found a property you want to purchase and are actively recruiting in order to increase your financial resources.
  • Groups that are searching for members can maintain a group profile to help determine a good fit in values of prospective members.
  • In this phase, you may want to list both with and with puts your forming community on their map, while ICmatch helps you advertise your group for free, benefit from ICmatch’s outreach work, and identify compatibility.

Established intentional community

  • An individual within an established IC may wish to bring in a business partner or life partner.
  • An IC may have vacancy for your group to enter as a household unit.
  • When a group is seeking membership in an established IC that has residences available, the trade-off is that these may be harder to get into, but they are more likely to be stable over time, with a set culture and rules.
  • ICmatch groups that meet their goal to rent or purchase land or residences become an IC. At that point, post with an IC directory such as the FEC or FIC to get on their map.

Form a Group

Group registration is coming soon!

ICmatch can help you find others to join with you as a small residential community, or create a leadership team for a larger IC. Maintaining a group listing on ICmatch will be conditional on the following:

  • A group manager must have a member profile with an acceptable level of completeness. The “my account” page should show 100% in the circle chart for completeness, which doesn’t require answering every profile question.
  • A group manager should respond within 30 days to prospective members who contact them.