FAQs & Resources

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

Apr 11, 2018

Housing Segregation and Redlining in America: A Short History | Code Switch | NPR

NPR

Nov 21, 2018

The Geography of Inequality | Kevin Ehrman-Solberg | TEDxMinneapolis

TEDxTalks

Apr 5, 2016

Nine Network Web Only | Shelley v. Kramer

Nine PBS

Feb 25, 2019

Jim Crow of the North

TPT Originals

Sep 17, 2018

Rondo: Beyond the Pavement Trailer

Saint Paul Almanac

Resources – Articles

Additional Resources

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

Minnesota Compass

Explore community demographics of different St. Paul neighborhoods with these community profile maps.