Housing with Foundations in Faith

Faith communities have played a central role in creating accessible and community oriented housing. Commonly, priorities for housing projects rooted in faith communities include affordability, mutual support and inclusivity.

Enso Village

The San Francisco Zen Center (SFZC) began planning for Enso Village with the goal of providing accessible housing for retired teachers. The Enso Village spiritual director describes plans for the community as Zen inspired. Now, the SFZC has partnered with Kendal, a non-profit organization based in Quaker values, to bring these plans to fruition. Additionally, she hopes that Enso Village will expose the SFZC’s wider communities to the idea of aging mindfully.

Enso Village is planned to be completed in 2023. It will include assisted care units, memory care units and units for the Zen Center teachers. The Enso Village approach to supporting individuals through the aging process will be influenced by the SFZC’s hospice work. Community members will also have access to optional meditation classes and dharma talks.

Enso Village Website: https://enso.kendal.org/
San Francisco Zen Center Website: https://www.sfzc.org/
An article on Enso Village from Tricycle: https://tricycle.org/magazine/enso-village/


Many residents of the Greater Hamilton Area will be familiar with Indwell, “a Christian charity that creates affordable housing communities that support people seeking health, wellness and belonging.” Indwell started in the 1970’s as a single home with seven residents under the name Homestead. Today, Indwell supports over 570 households in southern Ontario ranging from high support to independent living units.

The image above shows Parkdale Landing, a high support building in Hamilton. Photo retrieved from https://indwell.ca/programs/parkdale-landing/.

Indwell Website: https://indwell.ca/


Recently, cohousing has been a major point of discussion within Hamilton Aging in Community.

Glacier Circle was the first senior cohousing community in North America. It began as a group of friends from the Unitarian Universalist Church in Davis, California in 2001 and by 2005, these friends were moving into their new cohousing community.

The Canadian Senior Cohousing Society and Community Social Planning Council in BC have compiled the following Guide to Cohousing. It includes information about Glacier Circle and Elder Spirit, the second senior cohousing community in North America, which also values mutual support and aging with spirit.

View it using this link: https://www.refbc.com/sites/default/files/Master_Resource%20Guide%20_Status-25%20October%202016_0.pdf