LOCAL NEWS

Ogden Women Removing Racially Restrictive Wording From Covenants

Jun 17, 2021, 10:15 PM | Updated: Jun 22, 2021, 10:52 am

OGDEN, Utah — Homeownership is a staple of the American dream, but for decades, that dream was made less available to minorities. We’ve recently heard of what’s called “redlining” in the East and South but it was also very much a reality right here in Utah.

Where you live impacts where your kids go to school, their opportunities, and ultimately, how much wealth you’ll be able to pass on.

Just east of Harrison Boulevard in Ogden, Therese Grijalva recently learned something about her neighborhood and her home. It’s what brought her to the county recorder’s office to get help from Marisa Arreguin, a research assistant at Weber State University.

“I grew up in Ogden,” Arreguin said. “I know that there’s a lot of people that are going to question whether or not this even matters.”

Grijalva started taking steps to remove language from her home’s covenants which was written up for the whole subdivision in 1947. The covenants said homes there could not be occupied or owned by any race other than Caucasians.

“I think it’s important for my children to realize that we stand together and with everyone,” Grijalva said.

Several subdivisions with that same restriction came to light through the work of Jennifer Gnagey, an adjunct professor of economics at Weber State University.

“I’m a little ashamed,” Gnagey said. “I feel a little bit ugly and a little bit angry.”

Ogden isn’t alone in this. Grijalva started making those changes now for free after Utah House Bill 374 became law earlier this year, making it easier to remove restrictive covenants. The bill passed after properties with similar deeds were found in Salt Lake County. How many of them still exist in Utah is not clear.

Even though the U.S. Supreme Court struck down racially restrictive covenants in 1948, they were still used. Gnagey said, “These covenants were powerful because neighbors enforced them on each other.”

Gnagey’s research began after she found a map of Ogden, from 1931 that showed how the city would grade parts of the city with letters.

Gnagey said that in “D” and some “C” grade areas, banks would deny mortgages to anyone based, in part, on minority populations there because that posed a perceived risk for default on a loan.

In the “A” or “B” areas is where you would find those restrictive covenants along with developers and homeowners that were unwilling to sell to minority families.

In Ogden you can still see the footprints of that map today where, perhaps, the most recognizable division is along Harrison Boulevard where the good neighborhoods are to the east and the not so good are to the west.

Arreguin’s grandparents lived in a “D” neighborhood. “As of today, we still see things like segregation, legal segregation, legal means of segregation. There’s always a way about that,” she said.

Through things like minimum lot sizes and steering from some realtors, it still happens today.

The fact that there are people willing to take steps against it, Arreguin said, “It’s absolutely important to me.”

Anyone looking for information on the project should email Marisaarreguin@mail.weber.edu or Jennifergnagey@weber.edu.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Salt Lake City police at a hit and run where a driver fled his truck after causing a gas leak. (SLC...
Michael Houck

Police: Hit and run crash causes gas leak, suspect fled on bicycle

A truck driver caused a gas leak after hitting a building and fleeing the scene Monday morning. 
14 hours ago
(Derek Petersen/KSL TV)...
Casey Scott, KSL TV

A beautiful morning at Bear Lake with Casey Scott and Chopper 5

It's Monday, which means Casey Scott was in Chopper 5 to highlight a part of our beautiful state.
14 hours ago
(KSL TV)...
Eliza Pace

100 Utah women sign statement ‘standing together’ against harassment in politics

On Monday, 100 women, Democrats and Republicans signed a statement "standing together" against harassment in politics. 
14 hours ago
FILE - This police camera video provided by The Moab Police Department shows Gabrielle "Gabby" Peti...
Eliza Pace

Family of Gabby Petito files $50 million ‘wrongful death’ lawsuit against Moab PD

Gabby Petito's family announced with their attorneys that they would be filing a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit against the Moab City Police Department for the death of their daughter.
14 hours ago
FILE: A West Valley police car. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)...
Josh Ellis

Crowd lifts car off man after suspected DUI driver crashes through wall

A man has been arrested on suspicion of DUI after police say he crashed through a retaining wall and into the parking lot of an apartment complex.
14 hours ago
Jessie Liddlard, 25, who was hit by a falling rock while rock climbing....
Shelby Lofton

Hiker seriously injured by falling rock in Little Cottonwood Canyon

A 25-year-old woman is recovering in the hospital after a volleyball-sized rock hit her head while rock climbing Friday.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Ogden Women Removing Racially Restrictive Wording From Covenants