State lawmakers work to strip old ‘whites only’ covenants

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The nation’s reckoning on race has given new momentum to efforts to help U.S. homeowners somehow disassociate their properties with historic, racially restrictive property covenants. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 10 states this year passed or are currently considering a wide range of bills concerning restrictive covenants that are based upon race or religion. Three states passed such legislation in 2020. Even though the U.S. Supreme Court in 1948 ruled that racially restrictive housing covenants were unenforceable under the U.S. Constitution, many still remain today, often to the surprise of homeowners.