FAQs & Resources
Please find frequently asked questions and resources about our work and how housing inequality affects us today. For additional questions or if you’d like to get involved and learn more, contact us!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are racial covenants?
Racial covenants were created to keep people of color from moving into white neighborhoods. Covenants were located in housing deeds and stated who the house could be sold to. They emerged in the Twin Cities as early as 1910.
Why does this matter?
It is important to understand past injustices in order to work towards fixing current inequities. Housing covenants are no longer legally binding, but their effects still live with us today.
How do racial covenants affect us today?
Many neighborhoods remain segregated today. Present day segregation is not a product of communities “naturally gravitating” towards each other. It is the result of planned exclusion from white neighborhoods for generations.
How do I get involved and what does the process look like?
We’re glad you asked! You can get involved by filling out our contact form. You can also check out our list of upcoming events.
How do I know if my house had a racial covenant in the past?
If you live in Hennepin County, you can search for your address on the “explore map” on the Mapping Prejudice website. When the Ramsey County map is complete, you will be able to search it as well. If you have your complete property deed, you can check there or you can request the property deed from the county.
If my house had a racial covenant, how can I get rid of it?
We do not believe that racial covenants should be erased as this would remove the evidence of the historic racism in our community. There is a process that you can complete to discharge a racial covenant. Essentially, this adds language to your property deed noting that you disavow the covenant. The Just Deeds project can help with the process.
Resources – Videos
Housing Segregation and Redlining in America: A Short History | Code Switch | NPR
Apr 11, 2018
Nov 21, 2018
The Geography of Inequality | Kevin Ehrman-Solberg | TEDxMinneapolis
Apr 5, 2016
Nine Network Web Only | Shelley v. Kramer
Feb 25, 2019
Jim Crow of the North
Sep 17, 2018
Rondo: Beyond the Pavement Trailer
Saint Paul Almanac
Resources – Articles
Jul 2, 2020
Why do Saint Paul’s neighborhoods of color have a disproportionate number of vacant properties?
By Kyeland Jackson
How does Minnesota compare to the nation in racial equity?
By Kyeland Jackson
Jun 5, 2020
Why this Started in Minneapolis
By Sarah Holder
Making the Invisible Invisible
By Taiyon J. Coleman
Jan 6, 2020
Rezoning History: Influential Minneapolis Policy Shift Links Affordability, Equity
By Kathleen McCormick
Apr 8, 2021
Mapping Prejudice – Ramsey County Mapping Project
By Mapping Prejudice
Why Race and Housing?
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity
This page links to a series of articles on racial inequality in the Twin Cities. It also offers suggestions for books.
Minneapolis-Saint Paul Neighborhoods
Explore community demographics of different St. Paul neighborhoods with these community profile maps.
Black neighborhood home appraisal gap is real and persistent, Freddie Mac reports
Explore more about the appraisal gap among Black homeowners.