The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination is investigating a racially charged advertisement that was in a local newspaper.
The ad announcing land for sale appeared in the New Bedford Standard-Times recently and was placed by Harmon Law Office in Newton.
The advertisement stated that the land "...shall not be sold, leased or rented to any person other than of the Caucasian race or to any entity of which any person other than of said race shall be a member, stockholder, officer or director."
“Such restrictive covenants have long been deemed unlawful and unenforceable under Massachusetts statute, and conveyance of any such deed is expressly prohibited under Massachusetts anti-discrimination law,” said MCAD Chairman and Commissioner Malcolm Medley. “Advertising such a sale may also be unlawful under the statute. Our obligation is to investigate this matter to determine whether a violation of law has occurred.”
Harmon Law issued a statement to FOX25: "This notice involves a restriction that a previous owner placed on the property. We do not condone the language and do not believe that it would be enforceable. It is industry practice to include in the notice of sale the exact legal description as set forth in the mortgage. We have removed the language for future legal notices."
The MCAD investigation comes just days after Fox Undercover did its own investigation of housing discrimination in Massachusetts.
Figures from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development show that since 2007, there have been 324 complaints filed in Massachusetts alleging housing discrimination based on race and national origin.