Seattle has a looong history of discrimination and suffers from its effects today. In Seattle, there are some neighborhoods where for decades certain classes of people were not allowed to purchase a home; these areas had restrictive language specifying who could and could not live there. In 1968 with the Fair Housing Act, discrimination on the basis of race (and other criteria) became illegal. However, as we all know, simply passing a law and putting something on paper doesn’t eliminate discrimination or discriminatory practices (I wish it did). As a result of both overt and covert practices, our society and societal structures have discrimination baked into them. Many vestiges of discrimination that actively work against minorities are alive and well. Shockingly, discriminatory language is still in the chain title, even today.
What can be done to undo this damage? One step is to remove discriminatory language from restrictive covenants and the chain of title. If you are not familiar with restrictive covenants, they are essentially agreements in a certain neighborhood that prohibit particular classes of people from living in that area. The map below shows neighborhoods in Seattle that restricted home ownership on the basis of race and religion.
Windermere and I are committed to taking active steps to eliminate this language and end racism and discrimination. Windermere has developed a process and helps its agents eliminate discriminatory language when we encounter it in covenants and in title. Although this is only one small step, it is an important one towards making our society one that is equitable, diverse, and inclusive. #AllInForYou
For more info from the Windermere Blog, read here.
The map of Seattle below is a “redlining” map. The red areas are neighborhoods that racially restricted home ownership. To dig deeper, check out the UW’s maps https://depts.washington.edu/civilr/covenants_map.htm