Living in community

Living in community

Building Multi-Unit MCS Housing
Managing MCS Housing
Environmental Housing Projects in the United States
A Public Housing Project in Arizona

Barrhaven Non-Profit Housing
Located in Ontario, Canada, the Barrhaven Non-Profit Housing community has 41 units, including apartments and townhouses. Fourteen apartment units are wheelchair accessible and seven additional stand-alone units are for environmentally sensitive occupants. An agreement with the Ontario March of Dimes provides attendant care to the residents of several units. Rent is geared to the income of the tenant.

Chemical Free Housing Ottawa
Upcoming housing development to be designed to meet the needs of individuals who suffer from allergies, asthma, and environmental sensitivities. The funding will be used to build 24 rental units with an additional 50 units that will be sold as condominiums to those who agree to the policies of “smoke-free, scent-free, pet-free and chemical-free living.”


Old Concho Community Housing
Four low-income MCS-safer houses have been built east of Snowflake, Arizona with funds allocated by the Arizona Department of Housing. The owning and managing nonprofit agency is Old Concho Community Assistance Center (“OCCAC”), P.O. Box 50, Concho, AZ 85924. Screening of applicants is in progress. More may be built in the future. See “A Public Housing Project in Arizona” for more details. 928.337.5047

Snowflake Community
About 20 people with severe chemical and/or electrical sensitivities have settled in a rural area in Snowflake, AZ. This is technically not an “intentional” community, but there is a lot of communication among neighbors on local issues (Smart Meter policy, highway pesticide spray schedules, etc.) and sharing of resources and support. Most have built their own custom home on 20 acres, and there are usually very few or no rental properties available because of this. Although not exactly an EI Shangri-La (residents struggle with many of the same issues others do elsewhere – pollution from coal-fired plants, paper mill, biomass plant, pig farm, controlled burns, freezing temperatures in winter, high winds in spring, electrical storms in summer, encroaching wind/solar farms, Smart Meters, WiMax, etc.) – some of the benefits of living in a neighborhood where others with environmental intolerances have settled include: regular social gatherings, local construction workers/handymen/cooks/helpers familiar with the requirements of working for those with chemical sensitivity, and a wonderful local organic health food store that offers personal shopping services for those unable to enter the store.

Ecology House
A HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) PRAC-811 funded 11 unit apartment building in San Rafael, California—designed, constructed, and maintained for people with extreme environmental sensitivities.

Possibility Alliance
A relatively new electricity-free, car-free and petroleum-free permaculture community in rural Missouri. They use candlelight so they might not be appropriate for those with chemical sensitivity, but seem like a promising option for the electrically sensitive. Here is an article about their community: Radical Simplicity: Living Car-Free and Off The Grid at the Possibility Alliance.

Regina Caeli Environmental Condominiums (aka “Earl’s Place)
Earl and Vickie Remmel have created a safe haven with 18 condos for people with environmental illness, near the environmental clinics of Dr. Rea and Dr. Johnson, just north of downtown Dallas. See “An MCS Oasis in Dallas” for more details. 469.556.5049
Seagoville Ecology Housing
In a rural area south-east of Dallas is a small community for “universal reactors” and the severely environmentally ill. Most residents are patients of the Environmental Health Center-Dallas. This community has been around for over 20 years. See “Ecology Housing — A rural development for
people with severe MCS
” for more details. click here for a photo tour 972.287.2059


The EHS Refuge Zone
The French environmental organization Next-Up ( has created a low-radiation camp for people with electro hypersensitivity (EHS), called “The EHS Refuge Zone”. The camp is located in the French province of Drôme in southeastern France. See “The EHS refuge in southern France” for more details.

Eremo del Lupo
In May 2010, the Italian EHS organization Associazione Italiana Elettrosensibili opened an area in the Vena del Gesso Regional Park in the Ravenna province of northern Italy where people with EHS can temporarily stay to recover. See “The EHS refuge in Italy” for more details.

Intentional Communities Directory
Browse this international database to find an intentional community, ecovillage, cohousing, commune, co-op, or other cooperative living arrangement

Alpha Omega Christian Communities For The Chemically Injured
Nonprofit ministry looking for individuals who are committed to serving God by living in community and volunteering time toward the creation of larger communities for individuals who have multiple chemical sensitivity/environmental illness and related diseases. Most likely, the first community will be located in Texas. Seeking core members to help form.

Brigid Collective
Our lovely two-story home in Berkeley, California was purchased in 1985 by six individuals who lived collectively. The house was first occupied on the feast of Brigid, the goddess of healing, inspiration, and smithcraft. We have separate bedrooms, an assortment of common spaces, and a large yard with garden and hot tub. Because of environmental sensitivities, we discourage drug and alcohol abuse.

Portland Tox-Free Community forming
This just in from an Oregon Ecobuilding newsletter:
On our nonprofit 501 c3 website, you can see the idea of a conversion to cohousing with a 9 plex of 2 bedroom patio apartments in a suburb of Portland near the Columbia River. The primary goal is to own in a community that it is green, shared resources, tools, garden, with no perfumes, pesticides, fabric dryer sheets and other unhealthy exposures as much as possible in a neighborhood suburb.

Reba Place Fellowship
Reba Place Fellowship is a Christian intentional community that began in 1957 in an ethnically diverse neighborhood in south Evanston, Illinois. Its members of all ages currently live in large multifamily homes and apartment buildings in Evanston and the Rogers Park neighborhood of northern Chicago. Because of Environmental illness of some members, most buildings do not allow smoking.

Sonoma County Cohousing
For serious people who want to pull together a cohousing project in Sonoma County, California. Green, environmentally aware, pesticide-free, toxin-free. Looking for people who either have chemical sensitivity or who are very environmentally aware and who want to live as low-toxic as possible.

discussion group
MCS Village
The purpose of this group is to discuss the feasibility of building a village(s)or community in which MCS/EI patients can live safely, and to provide a forum in which the legal, medical, geographic, architectural, social and funding issues relating to building such a community(ies) or village(s) may be discussed and resolved.

re|shelter on Planet Thrive
Our discussion forum on the Planet Thrive community site where re|shelter founders interact with PT members to discuss latest re|shelter projects and issues related to safe housing and communities.

Safe Housing Issues on Planet Thrive
A discussion forum on the Planet Thrive community site where members discuss intentional communities, ecovillages, safer locations, and other issues related to finding/creating safe living environments.

top photo: © 2008 Around twenty people with severe chemical and electrical sensitivities have settled in the area around Snowflake, Az as an informal community. Some of the benefits of living near those with similar health concerns include regular get-togethers and MCS-aware assistance with construction projects and day-to-day living needs.