FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19, 2022
Media Contact: Izzy Woodruff | 202-898-1661 | IWoodruff@nationalfairhousing.org
Groundbreaking Report Identifies Bias and Systemic Barriers in Real Estate Appraisals
The federally-funded report produced by the National Fair Housing Alliance and its partners raises serious concerns about the standards and criteria related to the appraisal of residential real estate, which often represents a family’s largest asset.
Washington, D.C. — Racial discrimination in home appraisals continues to affect Black and Latino homeowners throughout our country, and a new federally-commissioned report from the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) identifies recommendations to address this crisis. Documented instances of appraisal discrimination along racial lines in California, Florida, Colorado, Indiana, and other areas are reflective of practices that restrict housing and lending access for families of color nationwide. Conducted by NFHA, Dane Law LLC, and the Christensen Law Firm (the “NFHA Consortium”), the “Appraisal Standards and Appraiser Criteria report” is the most comprehensive review of bias in the appraisal industry to date, and it presents a roadmap for Congress, regulators, advocates, and the industry to address the nation’s long legacy of bias in the valuation of real estate and build a future in which a family’s most valuable asset is treated fairly.
The comprehensive and independent review by the NFHA Consortium was commissioned by the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council and managed by the Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation. The goals of the report included an assessment of whether the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (“Appraisal Standards”) and Appraiser Qualifications Criteria (“Appraiser Criteria”) encourage or systemize bias and that both consistently support or promote fairness, equity, objectivity and diversity in both appraisals and the training and credentialing of appraisers.
“Our report details a comprehensive analysis of structural challenges in Appraisal Standards and Appraiser Criteria that impacts every homeowner in the U.S.,” said Lisa Rice, President and CEO of NFHA. “It also highlights the deep inequities and systemic issues of bias in the appraisal industry that restricts homeownership and important lending opportunities for people of color. While we’ve done the work of identifying the obstacles and outlining a number of fixes, we call on federal regulators, Congress, the industry, and fellow advocates to work together to enact the meaningful changes called for in our report. Any entity with a role in the appraisal process has a responsibility to help address these inequalities.”
The report’s recommendations are outlined below:
Governance of the Appraisal Industry
Gaps in Fair Housing Requirements and Training
Barriers to Entry to the Appraisal Profession
Compliance and Enforcement
Click here to read ASC’s statement on the report.
Click here to read the full report.
Click here to read the Appraisal Study Overview.
For years, NFHA has led the fight against racism and other forms of discrimination in home appraisals. In February 2021, NFHA called on the Federal Housing Finance Agency to address the specific issues in appraisal policy that cause race-based discrimination.
The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) is the country’s only national civil rights organization dedicated solely to eliminating all forms of housing and lending discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities for all people. As the trade association for over 200 fair housing and justice-centered organizations throughout the U.S. and its territories, NFHA works to dismantle longstanding barriers to equity and build diverse, inclusive, well-resourced communities.