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.

 

At a Glance
Founded: 2016
Founder & CEO: Micaela Connery
Social Justice
Location of work: Domestic, West Coast
The Kelsey
San Francisco, CA
Make More Possible
Meet Micaela Connery

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.

Impact

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.

  • Today, join Allie, disability policy leaders, & @ayannapressley with @amprog to commemorate 31 years since ADA and… https://t.co/BEyj9qbUus
  • While we’ve made strides moving away from facilities & congregate setting for people with disabilities. Still today… https://t.co/sgsDLwRXS8
  • RT @kprindiville1: We don't want to live in institutions & we don't want family members to live in institutions, yet we are forced to bc ha…
  • Join us at Civic Center Plaza near the Bi-Rite Cafe between 5-7 PM on Monday, July 19th! We will meet The Kelsey Ci… https://t.co/QzR6WAG6Ef
  • Today we supported the investment in HCBS at the #CareisEssential national day of action for the Better Care Better… https://t.co/nOeIvtoZRb
  • We're hosting a midsummer meet and greet on Tuesday, July 13th! If you're in the area, come by anytime between 4-7P… https://t.co/6wLPYYWhZ2
  • Last week we had our full team in person for the first time in 18 months! In an incredibly challenging year, this t… https://t.co/0AL7pJwKJX
  • RT @HariSri108: AAC users at the table. :) "representation of AAC users... It should not have taken until 2021 to have any such representa…
  • People with disabilities -- including our future residents -- need high quality and well-funded home and community… https://t.co/sp4jWTee1P
  • In the fifth session of Raise the Roof, called Housing is Social Justice, Tomiquia Moss of @allhomeca and Valerie N… https://t.co/SZG7Je7whc
  • Denice Wint, Yusef Freeman, and Capri Roth joined us for Housing is Money, the fourth session of RTR, to explain ar… https://t.co/aRAT460Wef
  • In the third Raise the Roof session, Housing is Policy, participants learned about the history of zoning, Fair Hous… https://t.co/MtCV6Cg26g
  • Enjoyed taking part in Housing California's 2021 Annual Conference! This year we were proud to be one of their Acce… https://t.co/mViCzkAekz
  • On this day in 1999, Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead v. L.C. (Lois Curtis) mandated that segregating people wi… https://t.co/JSycNbeMLg
  • Raise the Roof alum & @ResidentsUnited leader, Zella Knight, speaks truth about how the curb cut affect applies to… https://t.co/QPHxlDDi1r
  • RT @TheCaseMade: "This moment is here because of movements! Movements have always been the most powerful narrative tool that we have to for…
  • In the second session of Raise the Roof, called Housing is Access and Design, Jenn Chang from @hicommon and Chris D… https://t.co/OlNY0bdlnB
  • We're looking forward to joining @Living_Future this week at their Affordable Housing Summit where @MicaelaConneryhttps://t.co/iXrrYVowCz