The median home price in Morgan Hill, Calif., is $750,000, far out of reach of service workers such as teachers and police officers. To mitigate the area's workforce housing shortage, architect KTGY Group teamed up with South County Housing to give families earning below the area median income of $106,000 an affordable place to call home.

“This development gives some of these important members of the community a chance to live near where they work and become an even more integrated part of the city,” says principal architect David Senden. Sited on a once derelict brownfield, nine affordable and three market-rate homes now blend comfortably with established housing and new adjacent apartments just completed by the same team, thus stitching together a tattered neighborhood fabric.

“We tried to think like the farmers who originally founded Morgan Hill,” Senden says. “There are not a lot of architectural flourishes, rooms are compact, circulation space is kept to a minimum, and I think we generally just used sound design principals to get the biggest bang for our buck.”

See all 2007 Builder's Choice Award Winners

Category: Single-family detached project;

Entrant/Architect: KTGY Group, Irvine, Calif.;

Builders: South County Community Builders, Gilroy, Calif.; Segue Construction, Point Richmond, Calif.;

Developer: South County Housing, Gilroy;

Landscape architect: Dillon Design Associates, Santa Cruz, Calif.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: San Francisco, CA, Santa Cruz, CA.