March 21, 2024 — Press Release

Washington, D.C. — As the Biden-Harris Administration’s Interagency Task Force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) marks the second anniversary of releasing its comprehensive Action Plan, the National Fair Housing Alliance® (NFHA™) and other leading civil rights and consumer advocates issued a statement commending the Administration for its leadership in organizing the first-ever interagency task force focused on addressing appraisal bias. The advocates also called on the PAVE Agencies to finish the job of reforming the home valuation process to end appraisal bias and to prevent harm to consumers and communities of color. The full statement reads:

Recent research and news stories highlight how appraisal bias impacts consumers and communities of color and exacerbates the racial wealth gap. The need to continue reforming the appraisal process is urgent and immediate. We commend the PAVE Task Force for taking certain initial steps toward reform. To continue this important work, we strongly urge the PAVE Agencies to prioritize the following appraisal bias reform initiatives:

1. Resolve complaints. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) should resolve the over 160 consumer complaints alleging appraisal discrimination to provide relief to harmed consumers and a resolution for accused respondents.
2. Release appraisal data. To provide advocates, researchers, and industry insight into possible causes and harms of appraisal bias, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) should release the uniform appraisal dataset to the public at the property level with appropriate protections for consumer privacy. 
3. Issue examination procedures. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (FRB), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) should issue examination procedures so examiners can supervise lenders and third-party appraisers for compliance with the Fair Housing Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act with respect to potential appraisal discrimination.
4. Remove discriminatory barriers. The Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) and its board should work with The Appraisal Foundation (TAF) to undertake a public, transparent review of each barrier to entry to the appraisal profession (including the Supervisory Appraiser requirement) to address the longstanding disparate impact resulting in a profession that is 95 percent White and 66 percent male.
5. Require appropriate fair housing training. The ASC and its board should work with TAF and the states to ensure that appraisers receive comprehensive and accurate fair housing training developed by fair housing experts.”

“Removing bias from the home valuation process strengthens individuals, families, communities, and the economy. All of us are harmed by practices that require Black and Latino families to ‘whitewash’ their homes to receive a fair and accurate appraisal. Fairness and accuracy in the home valuation process ensures consumers of color receive the dignity in the financial services marketplace that they deserve. We also know that we can grow the economy by $5 trillion over a five-year period just by addressing the discrimination that targets Black consumers. Completing the job will ensure people’s lives and communities are vibrant and they have access to the amenities necessary to thrive.”

This statement was issued jointly by the following organizations:

  • National Fair Housing Alliance
  • Community Works Consulting
  • The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
  • National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD)
  • National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST)
  • National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of our low-income clients)
  • Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago
  • Prosperity Now
  • UnidosUS

Support NCLC

Please support NCLC's work to advance consumer rights and economic justice with a tax-deductible contribution today!