University Study Uncovers History of Neighborhood Segregation In Kitsap County, Washington

Researchers from the University of Washington and Eastern Washington University have combed through hundreds of documents and deeds from the Pugent Sound Regional Archives in Bellevue, Washington, to identify neighborhoods in Kitsap County that have historic ties to racist deed provisions and restrictions. The study was led by Sophia Dowling, project coordinator of the Racial Restrictive Covenants Project at the University of Washington.

The research team worked to create an interactive map that outlines neighborhoods across the state of Washington where racist housing restrictions were in place prior to 1968. In Kitsap County specifically, the researchers found 2,300 properties with such restrictions. Through navigating the team’s interactive map, users will have access to information such as the location of these properties and the language of their previous restriction, among other details. The interactive map outlining racist housing restrictions in Kitsap County, as well as Bremerton County, can be found here.

The initial findings of this study helped pass a Washington State house bill, the Covenants Homeownership Account Act, the goal of which is to alleviate the financial burden of people who have been negatively affected by the historic racist restrictions. Currently, the team at the University of Washington is analyzing housing records from across the state of Washington. Once they have completed their analysis, the team plans to dive deeper into individual property stories and inspire more research on the subject.

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