Avondale

Birmingham, Alabama

An aerial view of The Kelsey Avondale site.

Birmingham, Alabama

In 2021, The Kelsey hosted a national convening around strategies to advance disability-forward housing. Among the attendees was a parent of an adult child with significant disabilities from Birmingham. Inspired by the work of The Kelsey, she returned to Alabama to explore what possibilities for community-based housing for her son and others with disabilities existed in the state. After failing to find solutions, she convened local advocates with and without disabilities and reached out to The Kelsey, asking for our support in bringing our model to the state. With a first roundtable in November 2022 and community convening in April 2023, The Kelsey has led a community engagement process to define the local housing need in Birmingham, outline current strategies and necessary future interventions, and assemble local partners to be part of implementation of new solutions.

We have engaged over 35 organizations and 110 individuals across listening sessions, one-on-one meetings, and community convening.

An aerial view of The Kelsey Avondale site. Caption: Members of our team and local community advocates at a prospective site for The Kelsey Birmingham. People sit in chairs and wheelchairs at tables in a large room with light colored walls.

Vision

Together with local leaders, The Kelsey is bringing disability-forward, inclusive, affordable housing to Birmingham and supporting regional systems and policy change that support these kinds of communities to come to life beyond The Kelsey. Our work includes:

  • Building Inclusive Housing | Creating a first-of-a-kind inclusive community in Birmingham to bring affordable homes and vibrant community to people with and without disabilities
  • Convening State Leaders | Hosting a statewide housing and disability working group with 23 organizations to share strategies and joint efforts to advance inclusive housing
  • Advancing Systems Change | Supporting policies and programs that make inclusive housing more available in Alabama including 811 funding, design guidelines, and community education

Facts

The community is in early schematic designs and will include:

  • 55 total homes: 44 1-bedroom units, 10 2-bedroom unit, and 1 manager unit – Community spaces for resident engagement and social events, delivering resident services, and inclusive programming
  • On-site staffing including The Kelsey’s Inclusion Concierge program
  • Outdoor amenities with seating areas, a sensory garden, and play space
  • Fitness space and bike parking

In the lively Avondale neighborhood of Birmingham, residents will have access to housing near transit, community amenities, outdoor space, recreation, and social services.

  • Transit: Bus Stop: At site entrance.
  • Entertainment: Avondale Restaurants: .1 mi.
  • Health & Services: UAB Hospital: 2.4 mi. with direct bus
  • Grocery: Red Bird Produce: .2 mi.
  • Grocery: Piggly Wiggly: 1.2 mi. with direct bus
  • Entertainment: Avondale Park: .2 mi.
  • Health & Services: Workshops Empowerment: .5 mi.

A schematic drawing of The Kelsey Avondale Site.
A schematic drawing of The Kelsey Avondale Site.

Project Timeline

  • February 2024: Site acquired
  • June 2024: Entitlements and design
  • October 2024: Secure financing, including $1M capital campaign
  • May 2025: Construction start
  • December 2026: Resident services hiring and launch
  • March 2026: Community opens

To learn more about our community and how to join as a partner, advocate, service provider, or funder, contact us.