About the series
For much of the last century, San Diego County was racially divided. In some streets and neighborhoods, people of all races and religions lived side by side. In many others, only white people were allowed to purchase or rent homes. inewsource found more than 10,000 real estate documents across San Diego County with clauses that excluded people of color and other groups, such as Jews and Hindus. But in extraordinary cases, homebuyers could break through this racist system. Here are two such stories.
This investigation was published in partnership with National Public Radio. It was also featured by inewsource’s local partners.
Leon Williams and Tom Hom, two former San Diego city councilmembers, share their personal experiences of buying homes in neighborhoods with racist housing covenants.
Today racial covenants are no longer enforceable, but many old deeds across San Diego County still have them.
These are the steps you can take to find your home’s old deeds and search for racially restrictive covenants.