OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A measure that would remove discriminatory language from housing deeds in Oklahoma has been signed into law.

During the recent housing boom, many Oklahoma buyers were greeted with unusual and shocking language in their home’s deed.

Buyers who purchased an older home may have seen language that prohibited the property from being sold to a person of color.

In the early 1900s, it was common practice for housing additions and associations to incorporate racist covenants to keep their area segregated.

At the time, racial covenants were seen as a way to “safeguard the investments” of Caucasian buyers.

Even though Oklahoma City was desegregated in the 1970s, that language still remains intact on some older properties’ deeds.

Although the covenants are legally unenforceable, the covenants are transferred to new owners during property purchases since no removal mechanism exists in Oklahoma.

Under House Bill 2288, a process would be established to sever these covenants from deeds and abstracts.

“In Oklahoma, these covenants often remain undiscovered until property closings, leading to delays and casting a shadow over the homebuying process,” Josh Woodward, Chair of the OAR Government Affairs Committee, explains. “With the enactment of HB2288, property owners will have the opportunity to voluntarily submit a form to the county, effectively severing and removing any discriminatory covenants from their property documents.”

The measure was unanimously approved by the Oklahoma House and was approved by the Oklahoma Senate 44-1 with Sen. Nathan Dahm being the only ‘nay’ vote.

Earlier this week, it was signed into law by Gov. Kevin Stitt.