In June, the Bloomington City Council passed a resolution condemning the use of discriminatory covenants and joined the Just Deeds Coalition. Discriminatory covenants were tools used by real estate developers and others to prevent Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) people from buying or occupying property in certain areas. These types of covenants were common throughout the United States from the early 1900s to the 1950s. This practice resulted in racially homogenized communities that excluded BIPOC individuals and families, building a hidden system of segregation.
The University of Minnesota founded Mapping Prejudice in 2016 to expose the racist practices that shaped the landscape of the metro area. Through Mapping Prejudice, researchers identified 24,131 discriminatory covenants in Hennepin County, including 374 in Bloomington that intersect with 500 Bloomington land parcels.
While discriminatory covenants are no longer enforceable, discharging such covenants makes an important statement to condemn this racist practice. Moving forward, the Planning Commission, Human Rights Commission and City staff will conduct outreach to impacted landowners and the community at large to build awareness and share the process of how to discharge discriminatory covenants from property deeds. For more information, to find out if your property has a discriminatory covenant or to request free assistance in discharging a discriminatory covenant visit blm.mn/justdeeds.