U.S. plan aims to end racial, ethnic bias in home appraisals

Vice President Kamala Harris announced a plan Wednesday intended to end racial and ethnic discrimination in the appraisal of home values, part of a broader federal effort to address a wealth gap that systemic inequality has perpetuated.

The plan contains 21 steps to improve oversight and accountability, including a legislative proposal to modernize the governance structure of the appraisal industry. Appraisers help to determine the value of a home so that buyers can receive a mortgage.

“Black and Latino people often have to pay more for their mortgage, receive less when they sell the home and are less able to access home equity lines of credit,” Harris said at the White House. “Our administration will continue to fight to ensure that all homeowners and homebuyers in our nation are treated fairly.”

Multiple reports, including a September analysis by mortgage buyer Freddie Mac, show that appraisers are more likely to undervalue homes in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods. This form of discrimination widens the racial wealth gap and makes it harder for many Americans from disadvantaged backgrounds to move up the economic ladder.

One Black homeowner in Indianapolis found the appraised value of her home went from $125,000 to $259,000 after she declined to state her race in her application and removed all family photos and African American art in the home.

As part of the action plan, the government will expand the complaint hotline for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. There also will be appraisal bias training in homebuyer education classes and efforts to ensure that the computer systems used to value homes do not perpetuate racial biases.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

5 thoughts on “U.S. plan aims to end racial, ethnic bias in home appraisals

  1. Here we go again with fake news articles to stir up and agitate. Their are already systems in place the banks are already held highly accountable..
    Just bad appraisers 1 in 185 i get a couple appraisals sometimes. Maybe soon we will have a robot doing it.

    1. A sad as it sounds, it’s not fake news nothing to stir and agitate when people speak out with real examples throughout the country. Its ok to admit bias and do what’s right. It funny how also the Wells Fargo news with 50% of black homeowners being rejected for refinancing back with real stats. It’s sad how people don’t want to believe this is happening back by real visible situations. Stay blessed

      https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2022-wells-fargo-black-home-loan-refinancing/

    2. DA I tried to get through the article, but you can only scream Racism! So many different ways. The protagonist the story leads with was offered a 4.5% rate on a non owner occupied property. We never really hear what killed the loan. There are zero controls in all the examples and late in the article even credit scores are racist. It’s pretty simple- income and past credit history, but I am sure deficiencies in those categories would also be blamed on racism

    1. Why use actually data when screaming Racist!! is more fun. Appraisals are pretty easy to unravel. What comps were used and why? The area in question has had low values for decades, but is recently experiencing regentrification. Were there some brand new recent sales pushing up the value on the last appraisal? The story originated with Gannett which is a cesspool even compared to normal “journalism”. Show your work, or just admit to promoting racist garbage.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets on
{{ count_down }}