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Board of commissioners vote to reject racial covenants, partner with Just Deeds

On June 14, the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners voted to join the Just Deeds coalition in an effort to highlight the importance of discharging and releasing historical racial covenants on property records. The action aligns with the county's plan to build a foundation for more inclusive communities and eliminate future disparities within the county.

The board of commissioners also approved an action to exempt residents from paying a filing fee in order to discharge a restrictive covenant, as stated in Minnesota Statute § 507.18, subd.5. The fee will be covered by the county, using sufficient county funds, to help property owners. 

Watch board meeting

Just Deeds partnership

Just Deeds provides free legal and title services to help property owners find racial covenants and discharge them from their property titles. The coalition also provides education opportunities to help communities acknowledge this racist history and pursue reconciliation and anti-racist solutions. Member organizations share responsibility of creating and correcting systemic racism in housing and acknowledging the racist systems that exist in communities.

Discharging covenants

An application form will be available in July for property owners seeking assistance through Just Deeds with discharging a racial covenant from their property. Please check back soon.

In the meantime, please contact the Recorder's Office at 651-266-2050 to learn more about the steps to discharge a racial covenant.

Mapping racial covenants in Ramsey County 

Working with Mapping Prejudice, an initiative at the University of Minnesota dedicated to unearthing racial covenants in our communities, Ramsey County has helped researchers access digital property records and identify thousands of properties that are affected by racial covenants.

On June 15, Mapping Prejudice will join Welcoming the Dear Neighbor? at St. Catherine University to share a map of the racial covenants identified in Ramsey County so far and illuminate how structural racism has shaped a number of local communities.

Register for event 

Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 - 12:00 p.m.