Commissioners work to remove racial language from property deeds

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Bernalillo County is trying to do away with racist rules still on the books in local real estate deeds after a Larry Barker investigation brought the problem to light. Last month, Larry Barker reported how homes in certain neighborhoods were once subject to racial covenants. That means property owners were prohibited by law from selling to people of a certain color or ethnic background in an effort to keep neighborhoods segregated.

In 1948, the U.S. Supreme Court (Shelley v. Kraemer) ruled racial restrictions in housing were unconstitutional. However, the language still appears in the deeds and there currently is no legal way to remove it. Tuesday night, county commissioners approved calling on the state legislature to create a legal pathway for removing that language when a property changes ownership.

KRQE News 13’s investigation found that thousands of Albuquerque residents live in homes that once excluded minorities. If you looked at a map of Albuquerque today, you would see that many neighborhoods still have racial restrictions on their original deeds.

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