Photo credit: Robert Tambuzi
SAN DIEGO—The NAACP, the nation’s oldest and most well known civil rights organization, has just joined a housing discrimination lawsuit against the San Diego Housing Commission. The lawsuit relies on extensive data to show the city agency intentionally administers federal housing voucher funds in a manner to further San Diego’s already extreme racial segregation.
The plaintiffs and their attorneys held a press conference Wednesday, June 26 on the steps of City Hall and displayed a map showing the extreme concentration of poverty and racial segregation in the areas where San Diego Housing Commission limits housing voucher holders—disproportionately minorities—to living.
“Across the nation segregation levels today mirror those in the 1960s, and San Diego is one of the most racially segregated cities. The data compiled in our lawsuit illustrates how San Diego Housing Commission’s voucher policies directly and intentionally perpetuate racial segregation and the concentration of poverty in the City of San Diego,” states poverty attorney Parisa Ijadi-Maghsoodi, who drafted and is lead counsel on the lawsuit.
The plaintiffs condemn statements made by San Diego Housing Commission’s CEO who referred to voucher level setting policies aimed at de-segregation as “social engineering.”
The lawsuit is San Diego Superior Court case number 2019-12582. The plaintiffs are NAACP San Diego Branch, San Diego Tenant Union, and Darlisa McDowell. The plaintiffs’ attorneys are Parisa Ijadi-Maghsoodi, Bryan Pease, and James Crosby.