If you're seeking information and resources regarding cohousing, cooperative housing, or anything related to Intentional Communities - you've come to the right place. NICA is a volunteer-based non-profit that promotes Intentional Communities in the Cascadia region (Northwest US & BC). Our aim is to connect communities, assist those who would like to start their own community and help those seeking to join existing ones.
We Invite You To Our
Twice a year, in Spring and Fall, we host Community Gatherings perfect for both established members of intentional communities (Cohousing, shared community homes, cooperative homes, etc), as well as newcomers curious about intentional living. These events serve as a hub for sharing experiences, insights, and networking opportunities. Depending on volunteer availability, we also feature guest speakers and workshops to enhance the experience. Whether you're a seasoned communitarian or just exploring the idea, you're warmly invited to join us for a deep dive into the world of intentional living.
Browse our directory to view intentional communities, from cohousing to shared housing communities, and more. You can also filter communities that have openings.
What's an Intentional Community?
“An 'intentional community' is a group of people who have chosen to live together with a common purpose, working cooperatively to create a lifestyle that reflects their shared core values. The people may live together on a piece of rural land, in a suburban home, or in an urban neighborhood, and they may share a single residence or live in a cluster of dwellings.”
- G. Kozeny
NICA is a nonprofit run by volunteers, and we're always eager to welcome more help. We'd love to chat with you about options, just use our form to indicate your interest in volunteering. We'll schedule some time to talk so you can decide if you would like to proceed. No matter your skill level or availability, there's a place for you here. From basic administrative help to joining as a board member - we'll work with you to match your skills and time commitment, ensuring a fulfilling and comfortable volunteer experience. We meet on Zoom once a month (or more sometimes) and this is done remotely unless you're helping out at an in-person event of course.
Our Mission is to grow and support Intentional Communities in the Northwest U.S. & British Columbia — a.k.a. Cascadia bioregion to make visible the many models of successful intentionally cooperative ways of living. We coordinate the exchange of knowledge and resources about Intentional Communities not only to showcase how they benefit members’ lives but to foster ecological, economic and social sustainability in the wider culture.
NICA’s Five Primary Purposes
- Ascertain and promote intentional community aims and values that contribute most to community sustainability;
- Facilitate communication and networking between local, regional, and national intentional community organizations;
- Foster and assist the study of and education on all major elements of intentional communities;
- Assist in organizing and financing efforts of and for sustainable communities;
- To coordinate the exchange of resources between communities and others.
What We Do
Our board of trustees currently meets monthly (the first Wednesday of each month usually, but dates can vary). We coordinate various projects that help the Intentional Community movement and organize our annual Community Gathering events.
These meetings are combined with potlucks and move around to different board members’ home communities. But for the time being, we are meeting up via Zoom calls. If you are interested in attending as a guest we are open to visitors. Please reach out to us to be scheduled on our upcoming meeting/call.
Our Community Gatherings take quite a lot of planning and organizing and we welcome volunteers that would like the help. Each year we organize and host Community Gatherings in the spring and fall. These are 1-3 day-long events that provide opportunities for intentional communities in our region to meet each other, talk about similarities and differences, and share what has been learned. These events are not designed to be promotional, as in marketing any particular community. Typically, at least half of the attendees are current community members and seekers are welcome and usually attend too. If you are seeking members as a new or forming an Intentional Community (IC), these events are a great place to enhance your community’s visibility.
The Northwest Intentional Communities Association was formed by a coalition of intentional communities’ representatives who gathered in the fall of 1992, spearheaded by John Affolter of the Teramanto community. The first meeting of NICA was held in the spring of 1993 at the Wesleyan Community on Vashon Island. This is when the bylaws and articles of incorporation were ratified. We incorporated in the Fall of 1993 as a Washington State nonprofit. We were involved in the 1993 Fellowship for Intentional Communities Celebration of Communities gatherings and have held gatherings ever since. We began publishing a newsletter in the Fall of 1992, and we successfully became a 501c3 tax-exempt organization in 1997.
A Big Thank You to Our Past Volunteers
We want to thank all of the volunteers who have helped out over the years. This recognition wall wasn't implemented from the start - so if we missed you, please send us a note and we would love to give you the recognition you deserve!
Thank you for your incredible dedication and hard work at NICA. Your contributions have made a meaningful impact, and we're grateful that you were on our team.