Rep. Justin Fleming discusses Act 54 at GHAR Fair Housing Event

The Greater Harrisburg Association of REALTORS® Diversity and Inclusion Committee was honored to have Rep. Justin Fleming as a guest as they celebrated Fair Housing Month.

Rep. Fleming discussed his historic legislation repudiating racially restrictive deed covenants (Act 54 of 2023).  This legislation aims to rectify biased housing practices by allowing property owners an avenue to repudiate any racially discriminatory language that may exist in their deeds.

A covenant stipulates what existing or future owners can and cannot do to a property. Racially discriminatory real estate covenants were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1948 under the Shelley v. Kraemer decision, ruling that these covenants are unenforceable under the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. In addition, the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited deed covenants that discriminate against protected classes.

Although these covenants are no longer enforceable, this harmful and discriminatory language still exists in many property deeds.

Under the bill, a property owner or homeowner association could file a form with the county’s recorder of deeds office to repudiate a restrictive covenant at little or no cost. Rep. Fleming specifically wanted the language to remain in the document as a reminder of the past and warning for future generations.

Pennsylvania is the 23rd state to allow for the nullification or repudiation of unenforceable deed restrictions.

Thanks to Rep. Fleming, GHAR will equip its members with resources to assist clients in renouncing discriminatory covenants from their deeds.

Download the Repudiation of Unlawful Restrictive covenants file below! Once completed, submit this form to your local recorder of deeds.

As the Government Affairs Director, Margaret Parsons organizes the Association’s government affairs efforts; is responsible for grassroots advocacy, key contact program, candidate screening process, and RPAC fundraising; works with the Commercial Council Board of Directors to provide services to our commercial members; handles the Municipal Database. Margaret attended the University of Scranton and received her undergraduate degree in History and attended the Catholic University of America, where she earned her PhD in American Politics. She lives with her husband, Patrick in Harrisburg and is originally from West Pittston, Pennsylvania. In her free time, Margaret enjoys hiking and walking with her two German Shorthaired Pointers, Henry and Fritz.

Share this page: