Denver Suburb Points Spotlight at Racial Covenants

A symbolic, but necessary, action.

1 minute read

August 10, 2022, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

A road sign reads "Welcome to City of Wheat Ridge Buckle Up and Drive Safely"

photo-denver / Shutterstock

The Denver suburb of Wheat Ridge City Council recently approved a resolution declaring race- and religion-based covenants ‘illegal and unenforceable,’ according to an article by John Aguilar for the Denver Post.

According to Aguilar, the resolution “directed staff to find city-owned properties that might have such stipulations and remove them from real estate records. The city also pledged to ‘prepare and make available to private property owners the materials to remove such covenants as permitted by statute.’”

As noted by Aguilar, Wheat Ridge is one of the first municipalities in the state to produce such a resolution, although some states, such as Connecticut, have recently passed legislation to the same effect.

“To some, Wheat Ridge’s efforts might seem unnecessary and redundant given the U.S. Supreme Court’s Shelley v. Kraemer ruling in 1948, which struck down race and religion-based covenants as illegal. The court’s opinion was further codified 20 years later, when the Federal Fair Housing Act banned race-based deed restrictions once and for all,” writes Aguilar. While conceding that the resolution passed unanimously by Wheat Ridge leaders on Monday evening is largely symbolic, [Wheat Ridge Mayor Pro Tem Rachel] Hultin said it is important to acknowledge and address the outwardly racist policies that shaped housing policy in Colorado, and the country as a whole, for decades.”

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