Buying a home can be a daunting process. There’s so much fine print! There’s also so much to consider, in particular, what kind of neighborhood it is, are there schools nearby, is there a high crime rate. All of these questions make it tough to consider what type of house to buy. For a California couple, they had to deal with all of that, and also the very ambiguous language that was in their homebuyer’s contract.
The couple, 22-year-old Yolanda Romero and 23-year-old Esai Manzo, were eager to buy their new home in the Colonial Heights neighborhood in Stockton, California. They were filling out the contract for the house when they noticed a text under the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs) — typical of California home contracts:
“No persons other than those wholly of the white Caucasian race shall use, occupy or reside upon any part of or within any building located on the above described real property, except servants or domestics of another race employed by or domiciled with a white Caucasian owner or tenant,” the document stated, according to information gathered by NBC News.
In other words, that clause means that the only people that can live in that house are white people. Racist much? While that text in the contract is not legally binding, meaning non-white people can and do live where ever they want, it is text that is still very much included in contracts even though that portion is technically illegal.
“I identify as Hispanic descent. I’m wondering, ‘Did everyone sign this paperwork? Did everyone read it? Did they agree and see this as no issue to them?’ If so, I would feel kind of disturbed to live there,” Manzo said to ABC7 news.
Most people sign without reading every single thing in the contract, and if you’re approved for the home, and the broker isn’t mentioning it, why would anyone think twice about where they live and what kind of neighborhood it used to be?
Back in 1947, the contract was very legal and that’s just further evidence that proves how racist and segregated life in America used to be and how real it still is today.
Newsday published an investigative piece today that shows the segregation of Long Island:
“The three-year probe strongly indicates that house hunting in one of the nation’s most segregated suburbs poses substantial risks of discrimination, with black buyers chancing disadvantages almost half the time they enlist brokers. Additionally, the investigation reveals that Long Island’s dominant residential brokering firms help solidify racial separations. They frequently directed white customers toward areas with the highest white representations and minority buyers to more integrated neighborhoods.”
This is an example of how this type of segregation despite being illegal, continues to exist and be implemented all across the country.