City of San Diego Sued for ‘BIPOC’ Only Housing Program 

City of San Diego Sued for ‘BIPOC’ Only Housing Program 
Homes are shown in Scripps Ranch, San Diego, Calif., on Oct. 5, 2016. (Mike Blake/Reuters)
Wenyuan Wu
On March 12, we at the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER), represented by our partner and legal counsel Pacific Legal Foundation, filed a federal lawsuit against the City of San Diego. We are challenging a discriminatory, race-preferential housing assistance program implemented by the San Diego Housing Commission.
Entitled “City of San Diego First-Time Homebuyer Program for Middle-Income, Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Households,” San Diego’s housing assistance project 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 program has a goal of assisting 40,000 homeowners by the end of 2025.

The catch? Only so-called BIPOC homebuyers are eligible, while white homebuyers do not qualify. This race-based treatment of prospective homebuyers in one of America’s hottest housing markets clearly constitutes a violation of the equal protection guarantee under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Under the U.S. Constitution, discrimination against Americans based on race or color is wrong, and it doesn’t matter what skin color the victims have—discrimination is discrimination, and it is unlawful.

“If the City of San Diego is going to provide down payment and loan assistance to aspiring homeowners, it must do so without discriminating on the basis of race. America’s Finest City needs to live up to the bedrock principle of equal opportunity for all—including in housing,” said Jack Brown, our case attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation.

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. The government should give reasonable assistance to prospective homebuyers on the basis of merit. Handing out race-based favors is divisive and counterproductive. The City of San Diego should not waste precious public funds and resources on fostering illegal racial preferences or perpetuating identity politics.

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 equity. Ironically, while it provides a link to CFER’s website, the news report ignores the actual policy we are suing. Knowing that they can’t defend the indefensible, the article fails to cite any substance from the unconstitutional policy.
But in spite of being attacked by the media and facing pressure from defenders of racial spoils, we are determined to press forward on this important pursuit of equality. It is fundamentally wrong for the government to treat Americans unequally based on race or color. This is the fourth case CFER has brought against California public agencies in our tireless effort to pursue equality. We believe that to reclaim the foundational values of equality and merit, we must utilize all existing channels, especially the court of law, to expose and challenge various illiberal schemes devised by the far left. Slow and steady, our ambitions to march back through the institutions are bearing fruits.
Wenyuan Wu holds a doctorate in international studies from the University of Miami and is the executive director of Californians for Equal Rights Foundation. Wu’s recent advocacy has focused on combatting critical race theory in American public life. She has given expert testimony in various state legislature hearings on the topic and helped launched the website She writes for Minding the Campus of the National Association of Scholars and sits on the board of Parents Defending Education Action.