HUD Announces Major Initiative on Home Loan Appraisals
The PAVE plan was created to help end what HUD calls “racial bias in the home lending and appraisal process” and is considered by the designers to be one of the most ambitious Fair Housing reforms in some time. PAVE is a cooperative effort across multiple federal agencies and includes cabinet-level members.
In 2021, the President of the United States tasked federal agencies with evaluating the causes and consequences “of appraisal bias and establishing a transformative set of actions to root out inequity” according to a press release on the HUD official site.
“For generations, millions of Black and brown Americans have had their homes valued for less than their white counterparts simply because of the color of their skin or the racial makeup of the neighborhood.” That’s according to Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, who is quoted in the press release.
Fudge adds, “Black and brown homeowners in communities just like mine have not felt that they have had a voice or that the Federal government was doing enough to redress the issue of racial bias in the appraisal process.”
As the HUD official site notes, the ability to purchase and own a home is potentially a way to build generational wealth. Part of the PAVE proposal includes acknowledging that generational wealth is denied to those who experience discrimination in the housing process, including the appraisal process.
There is more than one way to illegally “redline” someone or steer them away from purchasing, and addressing the vulnerabilities of the appraisal process is a crucial aspect of fixing the entire system.
“Since his very first day in office, President Biden has made advancing equity and racial justice a top priority across the entire federal government,” according to Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice, who was quoted in the HUD press release.
Rice and others note that America still has quite a way to go before bias is reduced sufficiently, but the results are worth the effort. “This PAVE Task Force took that responsibility seriously. We have a long way to go, but the steps laid out in this Action Plan will help our country reduce bias in home valuations, narrow the racial wealth gap, and deliver a stronger and more equitable future for all Americans.”
The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal for anyone to discriminate against you no matter what stage of the housing process you might be in. if you have experienced housing discrimination, file a complaint with the HUD Office of Housing and Equal Opportunity.
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