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San Francisco breaks ground on first-of-its-kind affordable housing project

A groundbreaking was held recently for the Kelsey Civic Center, a new 100 per cent affordable housing development being built across the street from San Francisco City Hall.

Designed by Bay Area-based architecture firms Santos Prescott and Associates, WRNS Studio, Mikiten Architecture, and RHAA Landscape and Planning, The Kelsey Civic Center will model that an all-electric, low-carbon building can be affordable to people of all incomes.  The Kelsey Civic Center is slated to open in 2025.

“Through the California Housing Accelerator, HCD was able to move The Kelsey Civic Center development toward becoming a reality for low- to moderate-income San Francisco residents struggling with housing affordability,” said HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez. “This project is particularly important in that it sets aside a full quarter of its homes for people with disabilities who may require supportive services, as well as providing help connecting residents to programs and activities that can further improve quality of life.”

Co-developed by The Kelsey, a nonprofit dedicated to disability-forward housing solutions and Mercy Housing California, a nonprofit housing development organization, the development will be universally designed, ensuring that the building will be accessible and easier to use for people with different disabilities.

“We are excited to welcome The Kelsey and all of its residents to Civic Center,” said Mayor London Breed. “This new project is part of our commitment to creating new housing opportunities across our entire City.

“The Kelsey Civic Center’s focus on supporting people with disabilities in an inclusive environment will truly transform lives.”

“California is taking an all hands on deck approach to tackle homelessness and build more housing, faster.”

In collaboration with the Department of Disability and Aging Services (DAS) and The Kelsey, the DCCC will be a first-of-its-kind center, and a disability community cultural center (DCCC) is proposed for the ground-use commercial space located at 165 Grove Street.

“With creative thinking and a commitment to designing affordable housing that works for everyone, there’s no reason this kind of success can’t be replicated all over the country,” said Doug Shoemaker, president of Mercy Housing California.

The project sponsors were awarded the site through Reinventing Cities, a global competition organized by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group to drive carbon-neutral and resilient urban regeneration.

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