Minnetonka, MN

Positive Progress on Just Deeds in Minnetonka

Stephanie Moua

Minnetonka, MN - Minnetonka has been joining Just Deeds Project since March. Ever since then, the City of Minnetonka has successfully connected more than a dozen residents who work with attorneys. Those attorneys are volunteers from the projects, and they aim to fight against discriminatory legal contracts against the residents' property.

In the early 1900s, real estate developers deliberately included deeds to prohibit selling, leasing, or occupying a property based on a certain race, religion, or ethnicity. However, in 1919, Minnesota amended such restrictions based on religion or creed. Moreover, in 1953, Minnesota added a race in the amendment.

With the help of The University of Minnesota's Mapping Prejudice Project, Just Deeds found 530 property titles containing discriminatory covenants. It is estimated the number is greater than 530 because of subdivided parcels.

The Just Deeds Project is free of charge for the residents to get legal and title services to remove the discriminatory covenants against any race, religion, or ethnicity.

As of July 23, Minnetonka has 81 incoming inquiries from its residents, out of the 81 inquiries, 15 of them were flagged in the Mapping Prejudice Project. In addition, the city also found 13 city-owned properties containing discriminatory covenants. 9 of those properties had been discharged from the discriminatory covenants, and the remaining four's discriminatory covenants have been discharged recently as well.

The volunteer attorneys are helping residents to legally discharge their property titles from any discriminatory covenants. Moreover, Minnetonka city staff is combing through any city-owned properties looking for any missed properties from the Mapping Prejudice Project.

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