MAC Board Votes to Prohibit Discriminatory Covenants
October 18, 2021
Patrick Hogan; firstname.lastname@example.org; 612-801-7836
Metropolitan Airports Commission Board Votes to Prohibit Discriminatory Covenants
MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL –The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) board today unanimously approved a resolution to cancel and condemn discriminatory covenants in deeds of properties purchased by the organization.
“The Metropolitan Airports Commission is fully committed to equity, diversity and inclusiveness and to equal access to our airports,” said MAC Chair Rick King. “While we can’t erase any harm discriminatory covenants caused in the years before MAC purchased properties, we can and do condemn such covenants and are taking action to formally render such language null and void.”
Up until the 1960s, many property deeds throughout the nation included discriminatory restrictive covenants barring use of the property by certain individuals – most often people of color and non-Christians. While enforcement of such covenants has been illegal for decades, they remained embedded in property deeds.
The University of Minnesota’s Mapping Prejudice Project researched restrictive covenants and mapped their use in Hennepin County. Project participants identified more than 24,000 discriminatory covenants in the county, including more than 400 on properties purchased by the MAC. Most of the properties were related to a housing development purchased by the MAC in the late 1990s to make room for construction of a fourth runway, 17/35, at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The covenants were never enforced during the time the MAC owned the properties.
In 2019, the Minnesota Legislature passed a law permitting property owners to legally discharge discriminatory covenants. Upon filing the appropriate document, property owners can formally notate on the property record that the covenant is no longer effective.
The MAC board resolution contains three action items:
- The commission disavows and condemns the past use of discriminatory covenants and prohibits discriminatory covenants on MAC-owned property.
- Upon finding or identifying any real property owned by the MAC that contains discriminatory covenants, the MAC’s legal department is directed to submit an affidavit or request an examiner’s directive discharging such discriminatory covenants pursuant to Minnesota Statute 507.18, subd. 5.
- The MAC’s executive director/CEO or designee is authorized and directed to execute any Affidavit of Discharge of Restrictive Covenant and other needed documents on behalf of the MAC to discharge any restrictive covenant affecting protected classes on MAC property.
“I want to thank everyone involved in the University of Minnesota’s Mapping Prejudice Project for identifying properties with discriminatory covenants and thank state lawmakers for providing a path property owners can take to discharge such language once and for all,” King said. “Discriminatory covenants were an unfortunate part of America’s past, but we can ensure they aren’t part of our future.”
About The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC)
The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) owns and operates one of the nation’s largest airport systems, including Minneapolis-St Paul International (MSP) and six general aviation airports. The MAC’s airports connect the region to the world and showcase Minnesota’s extraordinary culture to millions of passengers from around the globe who arrive or depart through MAC airports each year. Though a public corporation of the state of Minnesota, the organization is not funded by income or property taxes. Instead, the MAC’s operations are funded by rents and fees generated by users of its airports. For more information, visit www.metroairports.org.