HomeLettersRace-Based Housing Articles Miss the Point

Race-Based Housing Articles Miss the Point

First published in the Oct. 27 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The recent articles examining “race-based housing” in La Cañada fail to note one very important fact that makes the discussion of “racism” in local housing largely academic. The restrictive covenants that Frank Lanterman and others may have advocated for back in the 1940s were ruled unenforceable by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1948. It is not surprising, therefore, that none of the recent articles identifies a single qualified purchaser whose offer on a local property was rejected because of a racially restrictive covenant.
Whether or not some deed from the Jurassic Era contains what might be construed as a racially restrictive covenant, such a covenant could not now be enforced against a “non-white” prospective buyer who makes an offer on the subject property. The contention that “people who work here do deserve to live here” that is woven into the recent articles really goes to the subject of affordable housing; that contention, however, has little, if anything, to do with restrictive covenants that may (or may not) have been in place prior to 1948.

Glen Mertens
La Cañada Flintridge


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