Human Rights Commission Working To Help Discharge Racial Covenants

The Golden Valley Human Rights Commission (HRC) has started a new effort to provide Golden Valley residents with the tools and information needed to discharge racially restrictive covenants on their property deeds.

Racially restrictive covenants are contractual agreements that prohibit the purchase, lease, or occupation of a property by a particular group of people. These covenants were used by real estate developers in the 19th and 20th centuries to restrict people of color from buying or occupying property in certain neighborhoods across the country, including certain areas of Golden Valley. Despite being unenforceable, the language of racially restrictive covenants still exists in property titles.

In 2019 the Minnesota legislature passed a law allowing property owners to discharge restrictive covenants from their titles. This legislation prompted the HRC to create a work plan to educate residents, provide information about discharging these covenants, and create a platform to continue the conversation on equity and inclusion.

The HRC will discuss this topic at its Oct 22 meeting and will present the plan to the City Council at the Nov 12 Council/Manager meeting. If approved, the project may begin as early as Dec 2019.

For more information contact HRC Staff Liaison, Kirsten Santelices at 763-593-3989.

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