The following addresses the national context only as it is unclear if the practice of restrictive covenants was widespread in Massachusetts:
Despite the Supreme Court decision declaring the enforcement of racially-based restrictive covenants (see Shelley v. Kraemer), the practice remained commonplace. The Court found that the covenants themselves were not invalid, thus allowing private parties to continue to voluntarily adhere to the restrictions.
These “unenforceable” covenants served as powerful signals to potential homeowners, realtors, and insurers about who was welcome in a given neighborhood. Government agencies also continued to rely upon the covenants as substitutes for overt exclusionary practices.
As a result of continued use of racially restrictive covenants and “steering” of black residents to non-white neighborhoods by real estate agents, access for minorities to purchase homes remained severely limited. It was not until 1968 that the actual inclusion of racially-restrictive covenants into deeds was deemed illegal, although many such covenants can still be found within the language of deeds today. While no longer a legally sanctioned practice, the residential patterns created by racially restrictive covenants still persist.