Practitioner in Residence

photo of David Estrella

David Estrella


David Estrella joined the County of San Diego in 2002. He is currently the Director of Housing and Community Development Services (HCDS) in the Health and Human Services Agency. He oversees funding for the development of permanent affordable housing, community improvement projects and the Housing Choice Voucher program, which provides rental subsidies for approximately 11,000 families. Under his direction, HCDS has invested $205M and made eight (8) County excess sites available for development, which will result in the creation of 3,990 affordable housing units in 45 developments across the region. These investments leveraged nearly $1.8B in federal, state, local and private sources. The newly developed units will be home to 41,000 low-income residents over the course the properties’ lifetimes. David was the first Director of the Office of Integrative Services in the County’s Health and Human Services Agency. Integrative Services was created to functionally thread housing solutions throughout the various Health and Human Services Agency service departments. A key accomplishment during his tenure was the implementation of Project One for All (POFA). This regional program combined street outreach, ongoing services, and housing subsidies for hundreds of San Diegans experiencing homelessness with serious mental illness. Prior to joining HHSA, David was the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (DCAO) for the County of San Diego’s Community Services Group. As the DCAO for Community Services Group, David was one of the five general managers that report directly to the County’s Chief Administrative Officer. In this role, David ensured fiscal responsibility and provided management direction for six high-visibility County departments including: Registrar of Voters, Animal Services, County Library, Housing and Community Development, General Services, and Purchasing and Contracting. He led a team of 1,000 employees and had a budget of $334M. His departments’ notable accomplishments during his time as DCAO include construction of the downtown Waterfront Park (which transformed vast parking lots into the most significant green space on the downtown bayfront, providing family recreation and hosting special events and music festivals); construction of new libraries in various communities; sheltering of 25,000 animals annually; conducting presidential/state/local elections; operating 33 regionwide libraries; and managing a multi-billion dollar contract portfolio for all County services/acquisitions. During his tenure with the County, David has served as the County of San Diego’s Executive Sponsor for Diversity and Inclusion and the Chair of the County’s Diversity and Inclusion Executive Council. David is a graduate with distinction from San Diego State University. He holds a degree in Mexican-American studies and a law degree from California Western School of Law. Prior to joining the County of San Diego, David worked for LISC AmeriCorps, the Fair Housing Council of San Diego and the Legal Aid Society of San Diego.