(PatrioticPost.com)- Ethnic and racial discrimination is happening during home appraisals, and it’s something the White House says it plans to end.
This week, Vice President Kamala Harris released a plan that it says will end this discrimination. It’s all part of a broader effort by the federal government to address what it says is a seismic wealth gap that has been perpetuated through systemic inequality.
Last year, during the centennial commemoration of the Tulsa Race Massacre, President Joe Biden said his administration was creating a task force that would in part address the devaluation of homes located in neighborhoods that were predominately Black and brown.
The task force is called PAVE, or Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity. It’s being headed by Marcia Fudge, the secretary of HUD, and Susan Rice, the domestic policy advisor ambassador to the White House.
The task force has a six-month timeline to determine any root causes of this supposed discrimination in appraisals, and then develop some solutions to it.
While speaking Wednesday, Harris announced the action plan for PAVE. In opening remarks she gave during the day, the vice president said:
“We’ve heard the stories of people who have tried everything to avoid an unfair appraisal, stories like that of Tenisha and her family.”
The family she was referring to was the Austin family who are from Marin City. They were among some families who were invited to attend the event at the White House this week.
The Black family had their home undervalued by almost $500,000 when it was appraised recently. Thinking that their home was being unfairly valued, the Austins took down all of their family’s artwork and photos, and replaced them with photos of one of their white friends who stood in for them. They then had their house re-appraised to see what the results would be.
Tenisha Tate-Austin was the one who introduced Harris before she walked out on the stage this week. When she did so, she said:
“I’m telling my family’s story because I know appraisal bias is holding African Americans back from growing and supporting their families in a way that we want to and deserve to.”
PAVE’s plan includes 21 steps, among them a proposed law that would modernize how the appraisal industry is governed. Appraisers play a huge role in the buying and selling of homes in the U.S., as they help determine the fair market value of a home, which then allows buyers to receive a mortgage to finance the cost of the purchase price.
The plan would call for new policies that would improve the process of reconsidering the value of a home if it were to come back lower than the sellers expected. The plan would also require lenders in the FHA program to track the outcomes and usage of these ROVs.
The task force also said it aims to coordinate better with enforcement and supervisory agencies to identify any appraisal discrimination that happens.