Racial Covenants

THEMES: Housing Discrimination, Neighborhood History
POSTED ON: January 15, 2023

“The home is the primary way Americans build wealth, but laws and systems have kept people of color- especially Black Americans- from accessing homeownership. Nationally and here in Asheville, white homeownership rates are significantly higher than people of color, and the racial wealth gap is just as wide today as it was in 1968 when the Fair Housing Act was passed. After discovering a racial covenant in a deed of a South Asheville property Asheville Habitat developed for affordable housing, Habitat decided to delve deeper and learn more about the history of discriminatory housing practices, how they shaped our city, and how practices like these contributed to current day racial disparities.”

Click here or below to watch “This Divided Land,” a very informative video by Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity:

Screenshot from “This Divided Land” of Ms. Sophie Dixon, who grew up in Stumptown.

Montford Deeds

According to the Buncombe County Register of Deeds, Montford also had our share of racial covenants as described in the video above. For example, the language in the deed below was the standard form for all Montford Hills Incorporated deeds during the time period it was developed.

Here is a close up of the language: