Kamala Harris announces rule to tackle racial bias in home appraisals

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is crafting a rule to address racial bias in home appraisals, Vice President Kamala Harris said Thursday.

“Today I am proud to announce that we are developing a rule that will require financial institutions to ensure that their valuation algorithms are not biased, for example, that they do not produce lower valuations for homes owned by people of color,” Harris said. during a call with reporters on Thursday. “We are also releasing the guidelines to make it easier for consumers to appeal to what they suspect to be an unbiased review.”

The move is part of an effort to ensure fair algorithms and increased transparency for home valuations, according to the White House.

Harris described home ownership as one of the most powerful ways for American families to build wealth and said Black and Latino families are more likely to see their homes undervalued than other owners, which increases the cost of a mortgage.

“Millions of people rely on their home equity to send their kids to college, fund a startup, retire with dignity, create intergenerational prosperity and wealth,” Harris said. “We have also known for generations that many people of color have been prevented from fully enjoying the benefits of home ownership.”

Harris said only about 5% of home appraisers are people of color, a share the administration hopes to expand through training opportunities for underrepresented groups in the industry.

The vice president said the goal was to “ensure that the people doing home appraisals better reflect the communities they serve.”

Studies have shown that white-owned homes are more likely than black-owned homes to be valued at values ​​that exceed algorithmic predictions, President Joe Biden’s domestic policy adviser Neera Tanden said during of the call.

The administration will also release home assessment data for more than 600,000 properties, building a data pool that includes 48 million homes, Harris said.

The announcement marks two years since Biden, on the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, launched a broad effort to identify and eliminate bias in home ratings and appraisals, known as the Task Force. “Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity”.

An action plan released by Harris last year aimed to uncover and end racial or ethnic bias in the home appraisal process with new tools for consumers and data assessments to identify and stop appraisers. biased as well as to stimulate diversity in the appraisal profession.

This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com

Leave a Comment