Skip to main content

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

fentanyl

Eveleth man gets 11 years for selling woman fentanyl that led to fatal OD

Torisa Sulvoris Wallace, 39, was sentenced to 134 months in prison in U.S. District Court in Virginia Thursday.

Brian O'Hara

Brian O'Hara selected as new Minneapolis police chief

O'Hara currently serves a deputy mayor role in Newark, New Jersey.

Darbys

Darby's bar in Minneapolis' North Loop to close after 11 years

The business announced it will be closing in October.

NickEngerFB

Blaine man found dead inside car that crashed into lake

The victim's father said his son was on his way to work before the crash.

Police tape

Man fatally shot at a home in Brooklyn Park

The shooting happened at a home in the 7800 block of Tessman Drive.

Screen Shot 2022-09-28 at 3.36.57 PM

Scott County attorney candidates differ on marijuana possession

Scott County is one of a few Minnesota counties where the incumbent prosecutor is facing a challenger in November.

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 10.21.38 PM

Teen charged in shooting outside of Richfield football game

Due to the age of the suspect, the case won't be made public.

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

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.

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 power line, causing a fire

alphaMPD

Minneapolis police seeks public help finding missing woman

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

Screen Shot 2020-05-27 at 1.44.41 PM

George Floyd’s sister calls for murder charges against Minneapolis officers

Bridgett Floyd appeared on the “Today” show Wednesday morning

woman-in-yellow-tshirt-and-beige-jacket-holding-a-fruit-3962285

Minneapolis reveals more details of mandatory face mask policy

Beginning May 26, masks will be required for indoor public spaces in Minneapolis, including stores.

IMG_9565

Three months after fire, Red Rabbit in Minneapolis is set to re-open

After temporarily closing because of a kitchen fire, Red Rabbit in North Loop will reopen Tuesday