In the early part of the 20th century, discriminatory covenants barring the sale or lease of property based on race, ethnicity or religion were inserted in some property records as part of deeds, plats and covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs). Two decades after the landmark US Supreme Court case Shelley v. Kraemer established racially restrictive covenants were unenforceable under the 14th Amendment, the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 made discriminatory covenants illegal and unenforceable.
ALTA is strongly opposed to any form of housing discrimination and is committed to proactively working toward solutions that protect the property rights of all homeowners. 
While there is no current model law or uniform legislative approach to address previously recorded discriminatory covenants that still exist in public land records, state lawmakers have considered one or more legislative approaches to address illegal and unenforceable discriminatory covenants in public land records.

State Legislative Tools

ALTA has endorsed federal legislation introduced by Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) to fund the research and study of discriminatory covenants in land records.

Discriminatory Covenants Articles

Recent 2023 2022 2021

ALTA Supports ULC’s Model Act for Discriminatory Covenants
July 18, 2023

The Uniform Law Commission's model act provides a mechanism for repudiation by homeowners of discriminatory covenants, while retaining the capability for universities and non-profits to study these historic records and their impact. Joining ALTA in support of the model act include Just Deeds, Mapping Prejudice, the Minnesota County Recorder’s Association, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the Property Records Industry Association.

New Oklahoma Law Removes Discriminatory Language From Property Covenants
News 9  |  May 26, 2023

People want to feel welcome where they live. However, one Edmond business owner didn’t always feel that way when he learned the historic rules of the land he bought.