Google is offering a $5.3 million investment to The Kelsey, a two-year-old nonprofit that’s seeking to develop affordable housing for people with disabilities.
The funding will be used to build the first community—The Kelsey Ayer Station—in San Jose, California.
This is the first specific project that Google has backed since announcing a $250 million fund dedicated to addressing the San Francisco Bay Area’s affordable housing shortage.
The Kelsey Ayer Station will provide 115 homes to people of all abilities and all incomes. Kelsey's rent prices accommodate people with a range of incomes and 25 percent of the community is specifically reserved for people with disabilities. Developed in partnership with Sares Regis Group of Northern California, the entire space (including each unit) is designed to be accessible and inclusive to everyone. The site includes on-site features like a drop-off for accessible transit, sensory garden, and space for support staff. The building will have an Inclusion Concierge, which means that two staff members will live in the community full time and connect residents to each other, the services and support they need, and the broader city around them. It will be a community where everyone—regardless of background, disability, identity, gender, age and race—can feel at home.
Google is also lending its name to an organization with fresh ideas on housing, according to Chris Taylor, Google’s finance lead for affordable housing investing.
“We’re a big entity and people assume we did a lot of due diligence -- which we did -- and, hopefully, that’s a feather in their cap,” he said.
Google said earlier this year that it was committing $1 billion to easing a regional housing crisis. Earlier this month, Facebook followed suit with its own $1 billion program. Microsoft led the pack in January with a $500 million pledge to invest in affordable housing in the Seattle area.