“Housing for all” means racial covenants must go

Washington REALTORS® has made the permanent removal of racial covenants from title a top priority in 2021.

Racial covenants or deed restrictions preventing homeownership by racial minorities are an explicit legacy of racial discrimination in housing. While such covenants have been ruled unconstitutional and unenforceable, they are still on the title of properties in Washington State. In 2018, the Legislature created an administrative process at the county level enabling homeowners to file a recorded document to repudiate such racial covenants.

REALTORS® support HB 1335 because it is the next step in correcting the historic injustice of these title restrictions.

HB 1335 would create a statewide review of recorded real estate documents to provide notification to homeowners whose properties have a racial covenant, and to inform them of how such a covenant can be repudiated through the county administrative process created by the Legislature.

“When REALTORS® advocate for housing and home ownership, we advocate for home ownership for everyone,” Kitty Wallace, 2020 WR President. “This bill helps us fulfill that mission.”

“We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-worth and robbed of their dignity by signs stating, For Whites Only.” – Quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s March 1963 speech, “I Have a Dream”

The link below can be used to legally modify a racial restrictive covenant in King County.

Restrictive Covenant Modification

“Opening Doors to Housing” is a campaign by Seattle King County REALTORS® to make housing and opportunity tools available to our members as they serve the diverse communities in our area. Our series on “Opening Doors to Housing” includes relevant resources, articles, best practices, talking points, and stories on advancing housing opportunities and promoting inclusiveness.

As a charter member of the National Association of REALTORS®, Seattle King County REALTORS® is proud to stand with our national organization as it launches a broader effort to promote awareness and progress on fair housing and equal opportunity for all.

Go to Series Landing Page