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Building Disability-Forward Housing for All

  • December 26, 2023
  • 12 min read

Prior to joining the 2022 Housing Lab Cohort, the Kelsey’s team consisted of seven full-time employees and two part-time employees. Their core services consisted of developing inclusive and disability-forward housing, consulting on housing projects to make existing or planned housing more accessible and inclusive, creating a Housing Design Standards for Accessibility and Inclusion guide for developers, and advocacy efforts to create market conditions that make inclusive housing the norm. They earn fees from the development of new housing and the provision of consulting services.

At the start of the cohort, they were further along than some other cohort members as they were actively developing over 225 units of disability-forward housing in the Bay Area. Additionally, they raised $100 million in both public and private funds and provided assistance to over 50 housing projects. Specifically, they utilized their funding to provide gap financing to a 100% deed-restricted project in San Jose, leading to a lower cost of capital and increased project potential.

After taking part in the Housing Lab’s 2022 cohort, the Kelsey’s team has grown to 17 members and they have fundraised an additional $16.5 million to date. They’ve also ventured into partnerships with other members of the 2022 cohort to explore co-development and business development opportunities. The Housing Lab has helped the Kelsey refine their advocacy and partnership strategies by providing connections to potential donors and feedback on their policy approaches, leading to the Kelsey notably introducing a bill in Congress.

The Kelsey has also created 230 inclusive housing rentals, homeownership units, or bed spaces through both new construction and rentals. They reduced housing costs by $3 million a year in rent savings with $1.5 million going to people with disabilities requiring services to live independently. Additionally, their philanthropy work and investment unlocked $150 million in public funds.

The Kelsey holds a competitive advantage in their understanding of how an organization can make a difference in providing housing options for people with disabilities. Their policy work, standard-setting, and active development angle centers work on people with disabilities while also creating and advising inclusive communities. The Kelsey has taken great strides to ensure that people with disabilities are granted the opportunity and afforded the option to live independently.