RENT Magazine Q2 '22

The history of women in U.S real estate began in 1839, 45 years after the industry was created. It was then that Mississippi passed the Married Women’s Property Act, which allowed a married woman to individually own property. FROM HOMESTEADING TO HUD: THE HISTORY OF WOMEN IN REAL ESTATE

New York gave women the most extensive property rights, passing the Act Concerning the Rights and Liabilities of Husband and Wife in 1860. Both of these laws expanded the property rights of married women and became models for other states. Women could conduct business on their own, have sole ownership of gifts they received, and file lawsuits. After President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act of 1862, more than 100,000 women took advantage of the new law, which offered free federal land in the United States. Women who were single, widowed, divorced or deserted were eligible to acquire 160 acres of federal land in their own name. Some stayed on their homestead and accumulated additional land. Others sold their holdings and invested elsewhere.

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