Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

New tool helps Minneapolis homeowners disavow racial covenants in deeds

A new free program connects homeowners with the City Attorney's office to complete the process

While racist land use restrictions have been illegal since 1968, as many as 9,000 properties in Hennepin County still have one stuck in their deed. 

That's according to the University of Minnesota's "Mapping Prejudice" project, which tracks these restrictions, known as racial covenants, in deeds across Hennepin and Ramsey County.

The racial covenants, first recorded in Minneapolis in the 1910s, prohibited all future owners of the property from selling or renting it to people of color. The U's project spurred legislation in 2019 to make it easier for homeowners to clearly emphasize the restrictions are void.

Now, the City of Minneapolis has launched a "Just Deeds" project, which allows homeowners to receive free assistance from the city in retrieving a copy of the racial covenant, drafting a requisite discharge form and then filing that form against the property's legal title. 

Homeowners can enter their information through an online application, and the city will check if the property aligns with data from the "Mapping Prejudice" project.

Follow Bring Me The News on News Break 

Hennepin County has also waived its typical fees for the process. 

"While the covenants no longer have any force of law, they still are a moral injury to the current homeowner," Rep. Jim Davnie, DFL-Minneapolis, said in a 2019 statement about the bill he authored allowing homeowners to make the change. 

"This also provides a way for our community to have a conversation about the history of racial discrimination in housing in Minnesota and how it impacts our families and communities today.”

The latest forecast from Sven Sundgaard

Next Up

Dalvin Cook

Report: Dalvin Cook has dislocated shoulder, will undergo MRI

The Vikings running back was carted off the field in Sunday's loss to the 49ers.

Kirk Cousins

Watch: Kirk Cousins lines up under guard on critical 4th down play

Kirk Cousins went "Full Kirk" at the worst possible time.

Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook injured, Vikings drop crucial game against 49ers

The Vikings couldn't stop the Niners' rushing attack in a 34-26 loss.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man airlifted to a hospital after police shooting in Forest Lake

Police allege that the man presented a threat to officers.

Minnesota Wild

Wild's two third-period goals take down the Lightning

Ryan Hartman's go-ahead goal defeated the two-time defending champions.

Byron Buxton

Reports: Twins reach extension with Byron Buxton

The long-term deal locks in one of the Twins' franchise players.

Justin Jefferson

Vikings-49ers: 5 things you can count on

Sunday's matchup is a pivotal game in the NFC playoff picture.

Gopher Football

Watch: Gophers troll Badgers with 'Jump Around' after Saturday's win

First they took Paul Bunyan's Axe. Then they took their tradition.

Brandon Richart, missing person

Search underway for missing man in Anoka area

Brandon Richart was last seen Nov. 17.

U.S. Bank Stadium

5 teams win first state championships at Prep Bowl

A pair of records fell as the Prep Bowl lived up to the hype.

Related

Minneapolis skyline

Minneapolis National Night Out rescheduled to Sept. 15

Residents can check online or email the city to see if their block is registered

Screen Shot 2020-12-07 at 1.33.56 PM

Homeowner uses aerial lift to decorate tree, hits power line

A homeowner's aerial lift used for reaching a tall tree struck a powerline, causing fire

Minneapolis skyline

Minneapolis a step closer to banning facial recognition technology

There are concerns about it leading to a surveillance state, and that it could harm disadvantaged communities.

alphaMPD

Minneapolis police seeks public help finding missing woman

A 63-year-old woman has been missing since Tuesday

More homeowners finding help could be behind dip in foreclosures

The Pioneer Press says more struggling homeowners in the Twin Cities are finding help. Experts say mortgage-restructuring programs and other counseling programs have existed for awhile, but more homeowners are either discovering them or just coming to terms with the fact they need them.

tree

It's that time of year: Minneapolis offers deal on trees for property owners

The City Trees program sells trees for $25 from March 8 to April 16, or until trees run out.

minneapolis police

Man, 20, charged with carjacking, robbing five Minneapolis residents in 90 minutes

The young man and a teenage accomplice carjacked and robbed multiple people within two hours