On June 16, Mapping Prejudice and partner "Welcoming the Dear Neighbor?" Project at St. Catherine Univ. released a preliminary map of racially-discriminatory property covenants for Ramsey County. The map was developed through review of property records.
An example of a racially-discriminatory covenant included variations of the following language:
The said premises shall not be sold, mortgaged, leased or occupied by any person or persons who are not members of the Caucasian race, but this shall not prevent the keeping of domestic servants who are not members of the Caucasian race.
City of Roseville staff have been aware of such covenants for years and began working with Just Deeds in May of 2021 as an avenue to bring awareness to the issue. Just Deeds is a group that helps homeowners to voluntarily discharge any covenants of record attached to their property records.
Now that the preliminary data for Ramsey County is available from Mapping Prejudice, we can continue our work with Just Deeds,” says Community Development Director Janice Gundlach. “We’ve had a draft resolution condemning the use of discriminatory covenants, discharging discriminatory covenants on city-owned property, and approving participation in the Just Deeds Coalition on deck while we waited for Mapping Prejudice and their volunteers to complete this important work.
City staff plans to present the resolution to City Council on July 11, 2022. The City will provide updates on the resolution and progress in upcoming newsletters and on the City website.
To learn more about racially-discriminatory covenants and what to do if you have them in your property records, we encourage you to visit https://mappingprejudice.umn.edu/ or https://justdeeds.org/