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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jim Davnie (DFL)

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RELEASE: Minnesotans Can Now Take Action on Racially Restrictive Covenants on Home Titles

Thursday, August 1, 2019

St. Paul, MN- Minnesotans now have the opportunity to formally respond to dated restrictive racial covenants that still remain on home titles, as a result of a new law that went into effect today. Racial covenants are clauses in housing titles that were used by real estate developers in the 20th century to discriminate against and prevent people of color from buying, owning, or even residing in certain properties.

“This is a historic day in our state,” Rep. Jim Davnie (DFL-Minneapolis), who championed the legislation during the 2019 session. “Although the covenants no longer have any force of law, Minnesotans deserve to have the ability to respond to the dated racist stains on their home titles. History matters and this new law helps our community continue the dialogue around racial discrimination in housing in Minnesota.”

Rep. Davnie’s legislation will allow residents to fill out a form related to the title of the property to clarify the restrictive covenant is ineffective, and legally discharge it from the property. For Hennepin County residents, the county’s website has been updated with information for homeowners who wish to record affidavits to denounce these restrictive covenants.

You can learn more about Minneapolis’s housing history from the Mapping Prejudice Project, which has compiled research related to Jim Crow laws in northern cities of the United States.