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.

  • Save the date! Our second annual From Your Own House Party kicks off online December 16 at 5:15pm Pacific Time. Pur… https://t.co/lwifdKpceA
  • Save the date! Our second annual From Your Own House Party kicks off online December 16 at 5:15pm Pacific Time. Pur… https://t.co/jdGtDkHk2r
  • RT @TECollab: For housing to be accessible, it needs to be affordable—but it also needs to be accessible across a diversity of disabilities…
  • Spent our Friday team huddle checking out @SuperfestFilm @LongmoreInst, the longest running disability film festiva… https://t.co/pi5I7PwwsJ
  • Last week The Kelsey Ayer Station team did a self-score of our housing community in San Jose using the Housing Desi… https://t.co/uQqBxzfCZN
  • RT @JimLeBrecht: @AccessUc I may not be as up to date as U think I am, but I think it's safe to say that there is great power in numbers. T…
  • Yesterday, we honored Indigenous Peoples' Day. As we develop disability-forward housing, we make it a priority to r… https://t.co/EahS7qd7PK
  • Isaac Haney-Owens, host of the Inclusive Community podcast recently interviewed colleague Allie Cannington and Boar… https://t.co/9U9T6xgBBo
  • Simple changes like these, where a microwave drawer is at a lower height, could make a huge change in homes and sup… https://t.co/wJxHvKYV9R
  • Join Main Street Connect and The Kelsey as we gather for the Building Inclusivity housing conference, November 2nd-… https://t.co/CtkSlqsHdy
  • Our Housing Design Standards for Accessibility and Inclusion were created in partnership with Erick Mikiten, a whee… https://t.co/GwJBcuL7j8
  • RT @AAPD: In 2021, America shouldn’t still be segregating and institutionalizing disabled people. But if Congress doesn’t #HoldTheLine and…
  • #HCBS not only allows disabled people to live self-directed lives at home and in their communities, but it does so… https://t.co/o5hUJ2QB7i
  • #HCBS not only allows disabled people to live self-directed lives at home and in their communities, but it does so… https://t.co/3j4niHb2Nr
  • #HCBS not only allows disabled people to live self-directed lives at home and in their communities, but it does so… https://t.co/p7VEA5bodO
  • Last Friday, The Kelsey team and community supporters gathered at Oracle Park for The Kelsey Night. Our very own fr… https://t.co/nVuTowldMN