Removal of race pacts in Idaho

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Idaho has a long history with racial injustice and one of the many examples was discriminatory housing practices with race pacts and red lines.

This practice was not unique to Idaho. The language was prevalent in the United States with massive subdivisions built after World War II excluding non-white buyers.

During the 2022 Idaho Legislature session, State Senator Melissa Wintrow introduced a bill to change this language. As of July 1, Idaho homeowners can now request that this language be removed from their title deeds.

“This law brings to light the fact that the United States and state governments have actively denied people of color access to the American dream and that this has lasting effects for generations. Because ownership is the means by which which we pass on generational wealth. People can progress that way,” says Senator Wintrow.

She says that by incorporating racist attitudes, values ​​and beliefs into the law, a system of discrimination is created.

“It doesn’t erase decades or centuries of discrimination, but it finally recognizes that the state played a role in this and that we need to address it and call it out in the future,” according to the senator.

Senator Wintrow, Mckay Cunningham, professor at the College of Idaho, and Zoe Ann Olson, director of the Idaho Fair Housing Council, join Idaho Matters to talk more about it and the history of race covenants.

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