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Washington Seeks to Repair Harm Caused by Racially Restrictive Real Estate Covenants

Published on May 9, 2023

Washington State Capitol campus on an overcast spring day, cherry blossoms between photographer and the legislative building. Photo taken from the steps of the former state library.
Image Credit: Bri (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Washington state is setting aside money to help people who were hurt by racially restrictive real estate covenants — documents that were used to enforce segregation in the early- to mid-20th century. On Monday, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a measure into law Monday that will create a downpayment assistance program for people affected by the racist covenants, which were often used to ban property from being sold or rented to someone who wasn’t white. Descendants of those discriminated against would also qualify under the law.

These documents frequently barred Black, Indigenous, Asian and other people of color from entire neighborhoods, excluding them from homeownership opportunities and limiting their ability to build generational wealth. Statewide, researchers at the University of Washington and Eastern Washington University have identified about 50,000 properties with legal clauses that excluded people who were not white.

Continue reading at Axios.

Originally written by Melissa Santos for Axios.
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