COVENANTS. Reporter: RUBY AND GEORG
CAMERON’S HOUSE IS THE ONLY
ONE THEY HAVE EVER OWNED. IT IS THE AMERICA DREAM.>>YOU BOUGHT YOUR HOUSE
FIRST. THAT’S WHAT WE DID IS SAVE OUR
MONEY TO BUY A HOUSE. Reporter: IT IS IN EDMONTON
VILLAGE ON THE WEST SIDE OF
BALTIMORE. THE TWO-STORY BRICK ROW HOME
WERE BUILT IN 1942, 1200
SQUARE FEET. THE BUILDER WAS THE COMPANY
FOUNDED BY JAMES KEALTY. AT ABOUT THE SAME TIME THE
COMPANY BUILT SIMILAR HOUSES
AT ROGERS FORG, BRICK HOMES,
1200 SQUARE FEET. CHRIS RAISED HIS FAMILY HERE.>>IT HASN’T CHANGED FOREVER. NOTHING HAS CHANGED. Reporter: TWO NEIGHBORHOODS
AND ALMOST IDENTICAL HOUSES
AND BUILT BY THE SAME COMPANY
AT ALMOST THE SAME TIME. BUT TODAY THERE IS A DISTINCT
DIFFERENCE IN THE VALUE
PROPERTIES. IN RECENT YEARS SALES OF
HOUSES HERE IN EDMONTON
VILLAGE VALUE $869. AND SALES IN ROGERS FORGE
VANCHED 274287. IT IS MORE THAN TRIPLE. THE DIFFERENCE EXPLAINED BY A
STORY OF RACE, INVESTMENT AND
HOW REAL ESTATE HAS BEEN USED
TO GROW WEALTH.>>THAT AVENUE HAS BEEN
TRADITIONALLY WHERE MOST
AMERICANS CREATE GENERATIONAL
WEALTH. FOR BLACK AMERICANS IT HAS
BEEN DICEY IN THAT AREA.>>EDMONTON VILLAGE WAS A
WHITE COMMUNITY IN THE
1940s. IN THE 1960s IT BECAME A
HOTBED OF THE REAL ESTATE
PRACTICE KNOWN AS BLOCK
BUSTING.>>TYPICALLY BLOCKBUSTERS
BOUGHT LOW AND THEN TURNED THE
HOUSES RACIALLY AND SOLD HIGH
TO AFRICAN-AMERICANS. THEY ARE EITHER TO TAKE
ADVANTAGE OF O CREATE FEAR OF
RACIAL CHANGE.>>RESEARCH SHOWS MOST OF THE
PEOPLE WHO BOUGHT HOUSES HERE,
WHITE PEOPLE, SOLD IN THE
EARLY 1960s NOT TO ANOTHER
HOMEOWNER, BUT TO REAL ESTATE
MIDDLE MEN. ONE FIRM USED THE NAME STRAW
MAN INC. SOMETIMES THEY SIGNED BLACK
PEOPLE TO LAND INSTALLMENT
CONTRACT HAD — CONTRACTS,
RENT TO OWN. THIS WAS ACQUIRED IN 1964 FOR
$6,000. THE FIRM THEN SIGNED A
BI-RACIAL COUPLE TO A CONTRACT
A YEAR AND A HALF LATER. THE PRICE W $11,990. ALMOST DOUBLE. THE CONTRACT REQUIRED THE
COUPLE TO MAKE WEEKLY
PAYMENTS, COVER THE
TACTIONS — TAXES AND
INSURANCE WITHOUT ACTUALLY
OWNING THE HOUSE. THEY DID AND TOOK TITLE TO THE
PROPERTY I 1983, 17 YEARS
WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF THE
EQUITY IN THE HOUSE.>>IT IS AT A HIGH PRICE AND
OFTEN AN UNSTABLE
CIRCUMSTANCE. Reporter: THE ORIGINAL OWNERS
OF THE CAMERON’S HOUSE, A
WHITE COUPLE, SOLD IN 1964 TO
A REAL ESTATE COMPANY. THE SALES PRICE THEY TOOK ALSO
$6,000. THE CAMERONS MOVED IN IN 1969. BY THAT TIME THIS PART OF
EDMONTON VILLAGE HAD TOTALLY
FLIPPED FROM WHITE TO BLACK. IN 1960, THE COMMUNITY WAS 99%
WHITE. IN 1970 IT WAS 97% BLACK. THE RECORDED PRICE THEY PAID
WAS $THIEF TEEN,000. $13,000. AS HARD AS IT WAS FOR BLACK
PEOPLE TO BUY PROPERTY AT THAT
TIME, THEY WERE THRILLED TO
OWN.>>WE DID QUITE WELL WITH IT. WE HAD NO PROBLEMS WITH PAYING
IT. Reporter: THERE WAS NO BLOCK
BUSTING IN ROGERS FORGE. THERE WERE COVENANTS IN THE
DEEDS IN THE EARLY 1940s
THAT SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED
BLACK PEOPLE FROM LIVING HERE
WITH ONE EXCEPTION. NO PERSON OF ANY RACE OTHER
THAN THE WHITE RACE SHALL USE
OR OCCUPY ANY BUILDING OR LOT
EXCEPT DOMESTIC SERVANTS. SUCH COVENANTS WERE LATER
STRUCK DOWN BY THE SUPREME
COURT.>>BLACK FOLK HAVE ALWAYS BEEN
DENIED THAT IN IN VARIOUS
WAYS. YOU COULDN’T MOVE TO CERTAIN
AREAS. IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN A FICKLE
LOVER FOR BLACK PEOPLE TO OWN
REAL ESTATE. Reporter: THE AREA AROUND
ROGERS FORD HAS SEEN AN UP
PARTICULAR IN INVESTMENT. ST. JOSEPHS MEDICAL CENTER,
GBMC, ALL BOOSTED THE VALUE OF
THE COMMUNITY. EDMONTON VILLAGE HAS SEEN
LITTLE INVESTMENT. A NEW HOUSING PROJECT HAS YET
TO BE COMPLETED. THE RESULT OF INSUFFICIENT
INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING. THE BIG NAME STORES OF THE
SHOPPING CENTER ARE LONG
GONE. THE $2.6 BILLION RED LINE
TRANSIT PROJECT WAS KILLED BY
GOVERNOR LARRY HOGAN IN 2015.>>HERE YOU HAVE A CLEAR
ECONOMIC LESSON IN TERMS O
THE GAP. OVER TIME THOSE PROPERTIES
BECOME LESS AND LESS
VALUABLE. Reporter: THE CAMERONS HAVE NO
REGRETS ABOUT STAYING IN
EDMONTON VILLAGE, BUT THE GAP
BETWEEN WHAT THEIR HOUSE IS
NOW WORK AND WHAT THE HOUSES
IN ROGERS FORGE IS WORTH IS 69%. Reporter: ROGERS FORGE WAS THE
FIRST COMMUNITY IN MARYLAND TO
MOVE TO FILE TO REMOVE THE
LANGUAGE OF THOSE RACIAL
COVENANTS IN THE DEEDS IN THAT
COMMUNITY. IT ISN’T THE ONLY COMMUNITY IN
THE STATE WITH SUCH COVENANTS
ON THE BOOKS. COMMUNITY MEMBERS FROM ROGERS
FORGE WILL TESTIFY AT A
HEARING IN ANNAPOLIS NEXT
WEEK. JANE MILLER REPOR

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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