Model & Strategy
The Kelsey is pioneering disability-forward housing solutions that open doors to more affordable homes and opportunities for everyone. 1 in 4 Americans has a disability and the affordable housing crisis plagues US cities and towns. The Kelsey solves these challenges through innovative housing development and advocacy model to create mixed ability, mixed-income communities.
The Kelsey engages communities and sets new standards for better design and policy, attracts new sources of capital and unrealized land value to accelerate development, and drives better outcomes by creating a resident-centered, connected housing experience. In all of The Kelsey’s work, the organization includes the voices and ideas of individuals with disabilities.
Micaela Connery and her cousin Kelsey O’Connor were born three months apart and went through every life milestone together. When it came time to live on their own, it took Micaela several months to find housing—but it took Kelsey almost eight years. Her family struggled to find a home that was supportive of her disabilities, while still letting Kelsey be part of the broader community. Micaela quickly learned housing wasn’t a challenge unique to Kelsey; less than 12% of adults with developmental disabilities had their own housing. She founded The Kelsey to change that reality.
Disability inclusion has been the center of Micaela’s entire life and career. She was the Founder and CEO of Unified Theater, which scaled to serve students with and without disabilities in over 100 schools and was acquired by Kids Included Together. As an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, Micaela led programs around community inclusion for individuals with autism. At the Harvard Kennedy School, she focused on disability housing models as a Fellow at the Joint Center for Housing Studies and a Social Innovation and Change Initiative.
The Kelsey has unlocked over $27 million in public, private, and philanthropic support for inclusive housing. The Kelsey Ayer Station in San Jose was the first direct investment out of Google’s $250 million affordable housing fund.
The Kelsey has over 240 homes in development in the San Francisco Bay Area for people with and without disabilities.
The Kelsey leads policy advocacy that advances inclusive housing, including community organizing and housing policy and budget efforts in California and nationwide.
The Low Income Housing Tax Credit must improve to increase affordable housing access for older adults & people w/ d… https://t.co/ioA7FRmbxe
This Month, The Kelsey team continued to grow as we added Tom Hospod to our team in the position of Housing Develop… https://t.co/b7K3hefQy6
Join us at Oren's Hummus (71 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94105) Friday, June 9th from 11-12:30pm for the AIA Ne… https://t.co/cgl9qFgI9E
Tell Congress NO CUTS to #affordablehousing! #CutsHurt ppl with the greatest needs in our communities, including di… https://t.co/zQKa2WIGW2
We want to thank all of those who are co-sponsors of The VITAL Act (S. 1377) on the Senate Finance Committee,… https://t.co/kIAsYyhfpW
This month's Element of the Month features Graeme Joeck, an Advocacy and Strategy Consultant who has completed proj… https://t.co/8PfL4FzfkA
We want to thank all of those who are co-sponsors of The VITAL Act (S. 1377) on the Senate Finance Committee,… https://t.co/eDgiVlJ0j4
What can you do to ensure that people with disabilities have access to affordable, accessible housing? Ask your me… https://t.co/Jjg9zpD5Bd
Have you been impacted by not being able to find accessible, affordable housing? Share your story at… https://t.co/tGmnbj4RWq
RT @ZoningAtlas: Our brilliant Zoning Code Analyst, Joanna Kaufman, repping the NZA at yesterday's @IvoryInnovation's affordable housing po…