ROCHESTER, Minn. - Removing racially restrictive language from housing deeds in Rochester is the idea behind a collaborative effort between the city and the Just Deed Coalition.
The coalition is a Twin Cities based group that’s working to remove racist covenants from housing deeds across the state.
The city council voted this week to strike language barring people of color and non-christian in deeds from the early 20th century.
City attorney Jason Loos says the practice of including racially restrictive language began in the 1910’s but was made illegal in 1953.
He says in order to avoid repeating the mistakes of our past it’s important the city acknowledges what happened to move forward to a better future.
He said, “There's a lot to be learned from this so once we map it we'll have a better understanding of how those past practices have effected where we are today in Rochester.”
Loos says the city will use volunteers to help find the deeds with racially restrictive language.
He added, “It's not costing the taxpayers anything. It's a completely volunteer program and we've already had seven or eight emails today from people interested in volunteering so the amount of staff time is relatively low for us.”
The city says the Pill Hill and Kutzky neighborhoods have been identified as potential hotspots.