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Published March 13, 2024

Taking the City of San Diego to Court for Its Discriminatory Housing Assistance Policy

Thanks to our partner and legal counsel Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) who is representing CFER, we are challenging the agency’s discriminatory, race-preferential housing assistance program. Entitled “City of San Diego First-Time Homebuyer Program for Middle-Income, Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Households,” the housing assistance project we are suing is a pilot program launched in 2023 to help first-time, middle-income homebuyers achieve home ownership in San Diego.

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CFER

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Yesterday (March 12), CFER filed a federal lawsuit against the San Diego Housing Commission! Thanks to our partner and legal counsel Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) who is representing CFER, we are challenging the agency’s discriminatory, race-preferential housing assistance program.

Entitled “City of San Diego First-Time Homebuyer Program for Middle-Income, Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Households,” the housing assistance project we are suing is a pilot program launched in 2023 to help first-time, middle-income homebuyers achieve home ownership in San Diego. It provides aspiring homebuyers up to $40,000 for down payments and closing costs.

The caveat is: white homebuyers are NOT eligible! This race-based condition clearly constitutes a violation of the equal protection guarantee under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Under our Constitution, discrimination against Americans based on race or color is wrong and it doesn’t matter if the victims are white, black, yellow or brown: discrimination is discrimination and it is unlawful.

Not only is this race-preferential housing assistance program unconstitutional, it is also morally corrupt. The government should help homebuyers based on needs, not race. That is why we are suing the City of San Diego to halt this government-endorsed, discriminatory program. No, the government should never have the authority to favor some people over others solely based on race.

Our fight is righteous! Unfortunately, legacy media have already started attacking our effort to fight for equal treatment. The Courthouse News Service published an article quoting a biased study on “systemic discrimination” from the Urban Institute, a nonprofit pushing for racial justice. Ironically, while it provides a link to CFER’s website, the news report intentionally refuses to link to the actual policy we are fighting against. As it is, the article reads more like an opinion piece rather than factual reporting! Knowing that they can’t defend the indefensible, the article fails to cite any substance from the unconstitutional policy.

In spite of being attacked by the media and facing pressure from defenders of racial spoils, CFER is determined to press forward on this important pursuit of equality. We believe that it is fundamentally wrong for the government to treat Americans unequally based on race or color. CFER has committed ourselves to being the watchdog for you and for true equal rights since we started three years ago.

This is the fourth case CFER has brought against California public agencies in our tireless effort to defend equality. Without your continuous financial support, we could have not possibly sustained our important work of legal advocacy. If you may, please consider donating to us on a regular basis so that we can keep watching and fighting for you! If you have any leads about potentially discriminatory government policies, please don’t hesitate to contact us for help.


Contact:

Wenyuan Wu

wenyuan.wu@cferfoundation.org

About Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER):

We are a non-partisan and non-profit organization established following the defeat of Proposition 16 in 2020, with a mission to defend and raise public awareness on the cause of equal rights through public education, civic engagement and community outreach. In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to amend its constitution by passing Proposition 209 to ban racial discrimination and preferences. Prop. 209 requires that “the state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.” CFER is dedicated to educating the public on this important constitutional principle of equal treatment.

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