John L. Scott COO Phil McBride testified on Wednesday, Feb. 3 in support of House Bill 1335, a bill that would serve as the next step in correcting the historic injustice of racial language in covenants. John L. Scott has been leading the conversation, locally and nationally, around removing racial covenants still present in some home titles today.
Aimed at preventing homeownership by racial minorities, racial covenants or deed restrictions preventing homeownership are an explicit legacy of racial discrimination in housing. While these covenants have been ruled unconstitutional and unenforceable, they are still on the title of many properties in the state of Washington. In 2018, the Legislature created an administrative process enabling homeowners to file a recorded document to repudiate such racial covenants, and HB 1335 is intended to take this one step further.
If passed, HB 1335 would create a statewide review of recorded real estate documents to identify which properties have a racial covenant. Then, these homeowners would be notified of the presence of this covenant and instructed on how this covenant can be repudiated through the county administrative process created by the Legislature.
If you’re a Washington resident and you’d like to show your support for this important bill, click here. You can view the recording of the public hearing on HB 1335 online here (skip to 12:53). Washington REALTORS wrote a blog post with more information about the bill as well.