Attendance Needed: SDHC Lawsuit Hearing

As you know, the NAACP San Diego Branch is involved in a lawsuit to fight the San Diego Housing Commission’s discriminatory and segregationist practice of setting Section 8 voucher levels too low to allow access to all areas of our city.

Low-income folks are a positive asset to a neighborhood when that neighborhood is doing well. They become part of the community, they participate in life, and their labor and presence helps the community thrive. It’s when low-income folks are forced to live all in one place that there is trouble; when nobody has much money, there’s no way for that neighborhood to thrive.

If we build a truly fair housing system, that lets low-income folks live throughout our city, they will do better and all our neighborhoods will do better.

There will be a hearing on August 30 at 10:30 a.m. in Department 66 at 330 W. Broadway (the Hall of Justice), to determine whether or not the SDHC will be required to let us look at their records so we can see fully into how they have behaved. Your support would be very much appreciated at this hearing!


We are very grateful to those of you who came out for our Press Conference; it got the media interested. Make no mistake; regardless of attorneys or judges or laws or motions or rulings, public opinion MATTERS. If YOU show up and YOU show you CARE about what they’re doing to low-income people and the neighborhoods the SDHC forces them to live in, our local government WILL take notice!

Photo: Robert Tambuzzi

NAACP San Diego Joins Lawsuit Against San Diego Housing Commission’s Racial Segregation Policies – Voice and Viewpoint

Coverage from ABC 10

Coverage from NBC 7

Press Conference and Rally: End SDHC Section 8 Discrimination

San-Diego-Section-8-Map-1

The above map shows how the SDHC forces Section 8 voucher holders into neighborhoods where people of color have been concentrated for a century.


After being sued by NAACP and San Diego Tenant Union for the racially discriminatory manner in which San Diego Housing Commission administers its housing voucher program, the Housing Commission received a 14 percent increase in funding for this program–$20 million annually–due to fair market rents going up. However, instead of keeping up with fair market rent, the Housing Commission instead made the gap even larger between what a voucher is worth and how much it actually costs to rent a home.

The disparity between what it costs to rent a unit and what the Housing Commission sets as a voucher level is especially pronounced in high-income, predominantly white neighborhoods. The Housing Commission intentionally sets voucher levels to more closely match market rents in low-income, racially segregated neighborhoods.

The actions SDHC took on July 1, 2019, denies housing opportunities to low-income families with Section 8 vouchers, and perpetuates racial segregation.

The lawsuit plaintiffs (the NAACP San Diego Branch, the San Diego Tenant Union, and Darlisa McDowell) and their counsel (Parisa Ijadi-Maghsoodi, Esq., Bryan Pease, Esq., and Jim Crosby, Esq.) will hold a press conference outside the next Housing Commission meeting:

Where: Sidewalk outside of SDHC, 1122 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101
When: 10 a.m. Thursday, July 18, 2019

The disparity between the voucher level and what the Housing Commission sets as a voucher level is especially pronounced in high-income, predominantly white neighborhoods. The Housing Commission intentionally sets voucher levels to more closely match market rents in low-income, racially segregated neighborhoods.

The actions SDHC took on July 1, 2019, denies housing opportunities to low-income families with Section 8 vouchers, and perpetuates racial segregation. 

The lawsuit plaintiffs (the NAACP San Diego Branch, the San Diego Tenant Union and Darlisa McDowell) and their counsel (Parisa Ijadi-Maghsoodi, Esq and Bryan Pease, Esq) will hold a press conference outside the next Housing Commission meeting:

Where: Sidewalk outside of SDHC, 1122 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101
When: 10 a.m. Thursday, July 18, 2019

NAACP San Diego Branch Goes to Court over Section 8

Please join us at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, June 26 at the City Administration Building, 202 C Street, for a press conference regarding the lawsuit.

The NAACP, along with the San Diego Tenant Union and Darlisa McDowell have filed a civil rights, racial discrimination lawsuit against the San Diego Housing Commission. The San Diego Housing Commission’s actions setting Section 8 vouchers significantly below market rent perpetuate racial segregation in violation of state and federal law.  

The San Diego Housing Commission’s actions prevent thousands of families with Section 8 vouchers—a population in which racial minorities are overrepresented—from living in high-opportunity, low-poverty neighborhoods that are predominantly white. San Diego Housing Commission’s actions force families with Section 8 vouchers into rental units in segregated, high-poverty, low-opportunity neighborhoods.  

The goal of the lawsuit is to require the San Diego Housing Commission to increase Section 8 voucher levels to allow families with Section 8 to rent units throughout the City instead of in only segregated, high-poverty areas. 

In 2016, the Obama Administration targeted San Diego because of its high concentration of Section 8 voucher participants living in concentrated, segregated low-income neighborhoods. San Diego was one of the only 24 metropolitan areas nationwide that the Obama Administration targeted. The Obama Administration directed these areas to de-segregate by using a different voucher calculation method. The San Diego Housing Commission announced that it would not follow the Obama-era desegregation method because it considered the Obama-era policy to be “nothing more than social engineering.”  The parties condemn these statements. 

For more information, please write [email protected].