Wayzata Joins Just Deeds Coalition

Map of Covenents in Wayzata Neighborhoods

A Century of Segregated Communities

Discriminatory covenants have been used to keep people of color from buying houses in certain Minnesota neighborhoods, including some of our own. The result is a century of segregated communities. Together, we can acknowledge this discrimination, discharge these covenants and build a foundation for more inclusive communities.

Wayzata has officially joined the Just Deeds Coalition, alongside 11 other cities, in order to do our part in acknowledging and addressing systematic racism in housing in Minnesota.

Learn More about the Just Deeds Project here.

Your Questions Answered...

How did these discriminatory covenants come to be?

"In post-Civil War Minnesota and across the country, developers, real estate agents, and local, state and federal governments prohibited Black Americans from realizing their full rights and opportunities as citizens. Governments and developers deliberately used discriminatory covenants to create segregated communities and build wealth for the white community at the expense of the Black community and other people of color.

These “white-only” covenants restricted families along racial and ethnic lines from owning homes in the majority of neighborhoods in our cities." 

Click to read more about the history of discriminatory covenants

What is the Cities' role in Just Deeds?

The City of Wayzata is available to help homeowners in our community identify if their property has a racially restrictive covenant, and how to go about the process of discharging it. Areas in Wayzata that have been identified include the Highlands and Holdridge neighborhoods.

What does it mean to discharge a covenant?

Discharging a covenant adds a statement to your property title that rejects the language of the racist covenant. It does not erase the covenant from your property records. The discharge is a useful acknowledgment of the history of housing discrimination in Wayzata.

Discriminatory covenants are no longer enforceable. Why does discharging a covenant matter?

Discriminatory covenants send a message about who is welcome in our community. Discharging covenants is one of many steps people can take to acknowledge and address systemic racism in housing and economic inclusion for BIPOC Minnesotans and Wayzata residents. It will show that now and in the future, discriminatory language and systemic racism is unacceptable in Wayzata. By discharging your covenant, you are joining a movement of people in Wayzata and in Minnesota who are committed to promoting anti-racism in housing.

Where are properties with covenants located in Wayzata? How many are there?

There are 137 properties with racially restrictive covenants in Wayzata. They are primarily in the Highlands and Holdridge neighborhoods. There are more than 20,000 properties in Hennepin County with covenants.

Where to Start...

Step One: Identify if Your Property has a Racially Restrictive Covenant

Use the Mapping Prejudice tool on the Just Deeds website. Here is how to search for your property:

  • Select the Magnifying Glass Icon to type in the address.
  • A property outlined in red indicates a discriminatory deed was found. Select the property to read the synopsis.
  • A property with a red pin indicates no discriminatory deed was found 

Step Two: Discharge the Restrictive Covenant

If you find that your property does have a restrictive covenant and you would like to go through the process of discharging it, you will need to fill out our Just Deeds Application. Once completed, the City will contact you for next steps and review of your application.

Other Helpful Resources...

Learn more about the Mapping Prejudice Project

Kevin Ehrman-Solberg was a co-founder of the Mapping Prejudice Project. The project maps restrictive deed covenants–agreements made during home purchases–that enforced racial segregation in Minneapolis until the Fair Housing Act of 1968 outlawed such covenants.

Visit JustDeeds.org for more resources like this.