This year marks the 47th official celebration of Black History Month. CAI supports diversity, equity, and inclusion in all communities, and Black History Month is a great reminder of how the community association housing industry has advanced in the last half-century.
Twenty two states adopted policies to address the removal of discriminatory or restrictive covenants in deeds and/or associations. In 2023, nine states introduced legislation that would allow community associations to remove discriminatory or restrictive covenants. CAI supports legislative language that allows a simplified process for association boards to amend discriminatory covenants nationwide.
CAI is monitoring the following bills regarding the simplified process for removing discriminatory or restrictive covenants:
The Kansas legislature introduced three bills dealing with the simplified process of discriminatory covenants. HB 2376 would give a 60-day window for associations to amend any discriminatory or restrictive covenants without a majority vote of the owners by submitting modifications to the city or county. CAI submitted comments to the Kansas House Committee on Local Government in support of the bill urging the legislature to either remove or extend the 60-day deadline. In addition, SB 77 and its House companion HB 2174 contain similar language with an identical 60-day deadline, but allows modification requests to go through the Kansas Human Rights Commission. CAI also is urging the sponsors of this legislation to review or extend this 60-day deadline.
Nebraska’s reintroduced legislation, LB 186, which was introduced in 2022, but failed to pass before the legislature adjourned. This legislation will allow for a simplified amendment process where only the majority of the board would have to agree to modify the covenants with the county attorney. A portion of this legislation includes model language from CAI’s public policy on this topic that was published in 2019. CAI’s Government and Public Affairs team is working with the bill sponsor to pass this bill in 2023.
The New Mexico Senate introduced legislation, SB 286, which would amend statutes broadly relating to discrimination. In addition to prohibiting the future recording of any discriminatory or restrictive covenants, the bill would authorize the county clerk’s office to amend any deed or covenant brought forth by a person with a financial interest in the association to comply with discrimination laws.
New York has multiple bills that would affect the amendment process for discriminatory or restrictive covenants. Two companion bills (A 4428 and S 1728) would allow associations to use a simplified process to amend discriminatory or restrictive covenants at the time of a sale. A third bill, S3476, would create a registry of deeds that include discriminatory or restrictive covenants.
Currently, Washington state statutorily allows for aid to remove restrictive covenants in deeds, but three similar pieces of legislation relating to restrictive covenants have been introduced in the 2023 legislature. Nearly identical, HB 1474, SB 5469, and SB 5496 would create a commission convening at the beginning of 2024 to investigate any associations with discriminatory or restrictive covenants and assist association boards to amend covenants found through this process.