Hobbs signs bill to remove restrictive housing covenants

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Senate Bill 1432, which would remove racist restrictive covenants that discriminate against certain minorities from housing titles, has been signed by Governor Katie Hobbs.

The housing covenants have been outlawed since the 1960s but are still included in many housing deeds for historical homes across the Valley. The covenants often explicitly state the property cannot be owned, leased, or occupied by certain minority groups such as African Americans, Jews, or Mexicans. While the covenants are no longer enforceable, it’s often shocking and embarrassing for homeowners and realtors to discover them and have them tied to their properties. 

The bill will allow property owners who have these discriminatory covenants to have the power to amend those documents and remove them. Attorney Dianne Post joined us to discuss the new bill.

The call-to-action began when a University of Arizona professor moved here and saw the covenant in his home. His wife was African American and wanted it removed immediately. He called the Tucson NAACP, or the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, asking for them to remove the covenant. 

“In 1948, the Supreme Court said that they would not enforce the covenant, but they continued to be put on the homes until 1968 when the Fair Housing Act passed,” Post said.

The new bill allows an individual to sign a piece of paper stating, “I want to amend my deed to remove the illegal restrictive covenants,” and record it at their county recorder’s office for $30. If an individual lives in an HOA community, they must go to the HOA board and ask them to complete the action. 

“The other reason that this remained was for historical research. Historians came out and said, ‘We want it to remain in the deed,'” Post said. 

Dianne Post, Attorney

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