About Osseo

Just Deeds

Just Deeds

Just Deeds

Osseo has now joined the Just Deeds coalition, a group of metro area cities working to reverse a legacy of racially restrictive language in local property deeds.

Racially restrictive covenants, which are clauses inserted into deeds, were a popular practice among real estate developers and property owners in the early part of the 20th century who sought to prevent the diversification of white neighborhoods. The covenants generally prevented the sale of the property to anyone not of Caucasian descent. They also served to lock in long-standing inequalities we still see today. As an example, Minnesota is ranked last among all states in regard to rates of Black homeownership and has one of the largest disparities in the country between White and minority rates.

Metro-wide, the University of Minnesota's Mapping Prejudice program has already identified more than 26,000 deeds containing racial covenants, of which 36 lie within the boundaries of Osseo. Each of these 36 properties contains the same clause:

"No persons of any race other than of the Caucasian race shall use or occupy any building or any lot, except that this covenant shall not prevent occupancy by domestic servants of a different race domiciled with an owner or tenant."

Osseo is now working to connect property owners with the resources of Just Deeds, which offers free legal services to any owners interested in removing the language from their deeds. Not sure about the status of your deed? Visit the U of MN's Mapping Prejudice map to see if your property deed contains a racially restrictive covenant. *on July 10, 2023, the city mailed a notice to all property owners within the city containing such language.*

Discharging these covenants will not by itself address the inequalities present today, but it is a step in that direction. To that end, the Osseo City Council recently adopted Resolution 23-32, condemning the use of racial covenants and directing the city to take part in Just Deeds.

For more information, please contact Osseo city staff at cityhall@ci.osseo.mn.us, or reach out to the Just Deeds project at info@justdeeds.org. 

Embedded Website