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Bay Area school district builds 122 affordable apartments for faculty and staff

Multifamily Housing

Bay Area school district builds 122 affordable apartments for faculty and staff

Jefferson Union High School District is the first K-12 school district to pass a bond exclusively to build an affordable housing community for teachers and staff.

By SVA Architects | December 21, 2022
Jefferson Union High School District Serramonte homes
SVA’s vision was to design homes and community spaces that feel like a market-rate, luxury development. Courtesy SVA Architects

In what may be a first in the U.S., 122 new affordable apartments at 705 Serramonte, Daly City, Calif., were designed for faculty and staff at Jefferson Union High School District. The three-story structure provides 59 one-bedroom, 56 two-bedroom, and seven three-bedroom units.

The Bay Area has one of the worst housing shortages in the country. Many younger teachers on relatively low salaries cannot afford to live near the schools where they teach. Lower-paid staff members – maintenance staff, cafeteria workers, administrative aides, etc. – often find themselves in the same boat.

The design-build team of SVA Architects and J.H. Fitzmaurice recently joined Jefferson Union High School District (JUHSD) in Daly City for the district’s Centennial Celebration and Grand Opening of 705 Serramonte, an affordable housing community specifically for district faculty and staff. Helping to bring housing equity to the region, JUHSD is the first K-12 school district to pass a bond exclusively to build an affordable housing community for teachers and staff.


The $75 million project received $33 million in bond funds provided by the passage of Measure J in June 2018. The pioneering development unites SVA’s dual strengths of partnering with educational institutions and designing affordable housing communities.

School district multifamily housing exterior with playground
The Serramonte homes include various community spaces, like a fitness center, community lounge, and children's play area. Courtesy SVA Architects


The Serramonte homes range from 560 to 1,174 sf, with rental rates set at 50% of market rate at the time of occupancy. Homes feature vinyl plank flooring, stainless steel appliances, and generous windows with abundant light. Community spaces include a community lounge, a fitness center, and a central, landscaped courtyard with children’s play structures, BBQ area, and ample seating.

Nathan Herrero, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Principal at SVA Architects, stated, “SVA’s vision was to design homes and community spaces that feel like a market-rate, luxury development. Along with the District, we wanted to honor the critical work of educators by offering comfortable spaces that feel like a haven at the end of the day.”

Mohammad Hakimi, AIA, President & CEO at J.H. Fitzmaurice, Inc., stated, “It’s been our privilege to be a part of this trailblazing project with Jefferson Union High School District and SVA Architects. Many districts around the country are already looking to JUHSD as a model for this type of educator housing in their own communities.”


Owner/developer: Jefferson Union High School District

Architect: SVA Architects

Design architects: Seidel Architects and BDE Architecture

Structural engineers: Ficcadenti Waggoner and CastleIDA Structural Engineers

Civil engineer: Luk & Associates

MEP engineer: Emerald City Engineers

Landscape design: ANLA AssociatesJETT Landscape Architecture + Design

General contractor: J.H. Fitzmaurice

JUHSD Faculty and Staff Housing at 705 Serramonte, designed by SVA Architects
Helping to bring housing equity to the region, JUHSD is the first K-12 school district to pass a bond exclusively to build an affordable housing community for teachers and staff. Courtesy SVA Architects

About J.H. Fitzmaurice, Inc.
Founded in 1922, J.H. Fitzmaurice, Inc. (JHF) has completed numerous projects in the Bay Area, with its headquarters being in the same location in the City of Oakland for the past 100 years. JHF’s primary focus in the past 40 years has been partnering with non-profit housing developers in building affordable housing projects including: teacher & faculty housing; multi-family housing; senior housing; veteran’s housing; and special needs & homeless housing. JHF’s mission and philosophy is to continue to partner with non-profits to help solve the current need and demand for affordable housing. For more information, visit www.jhfitzmaurice.com.
About SVA Architects, Inc.
Founded in 2003, SVA Architects has become one of the Country’s most innovative and respected design and planning organizations. The award-winning firm specializes in urban planning, architecture, and interior design of public, private, and mixed-use projects. Among the firm’s portfolio are civic, educational, residential, commercial and mixed-use developments. SVA Architects values institutional and public environments as the foundation of a community and the backdrop against which we live, learn, work, worship, and play. The company is headquartered in Santa Ana with offices in Oakland, San Diego, Davis, and Honolulu. For more information, visit www.sva-architects.com.

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