NAACP San Diego Joins Lawsuit Against San Diego Housing Commission’s Racial Segregation Policies


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.


  1. I’ve been trying to get low income housing since 1995. throughout the years I have been told different things like the list is close, they are not giving any assistance at this time, you just missed it, the lottery pick will not be for another 15 years, I guess your number wasn’t picked, I first applied in 1995 and then again in 2005 and 2007. I have updated my status in 2011 and 2013 and also every year from 2015 till present 2019 and still nothing. I called SDHC last year because I had seen that they had posted that they had a project base voucher available for me. However when I finally got in touch with the agency they said it has been past 30 day so I was put back into the lottery. I am a 43 year old African American male, seperated, with physical custody of the children 7,4 and two years old working and have no stable residence in which I have made quite clear to them. what should I do? I also believe that the San Diego Health and Human Services aka the county should be looked into also because the work hand and hand.

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