March 25, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Bartholomew Sullivan
March 25, 2022
Congressman Cohen Welcomes Release of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) Interagency Task Force Action Plan
MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) issued the following statement on the release of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) Interagency Task Force Action Plan:
“African Americans and other people of color face higher barriers to homeownership – including in the appraisal process – than White Americans. The PAVE Task Force’s Action Plan lays out a clear path to identify and address systemic bias in the way property is appraised, while also strengthening fair housing oversight, expanding and diversifying the property appraiser workforce, and empowering consumers to recognize and call effective attention to bias. I look forward to working with Secretary Marcia Fudge and the Biden-Harris Administration as they implement the action plan to ensure that everyone in the real estate market receives the benefits of homeownership.”
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in announcing the action plan, said it is aimed at dismantling racial bias in the home lending and appraisal process and promoting generational wealth creation through homeownership. The action plan represents the most wide-ranging set of reforms ever put forward to advance equity in the home appraisal process. The PAVE Task Force, co-chaired by HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge and White House Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice, is the first-of-its-kind interagency initiative to address racial bias in home appraisals and includes senior leaders from thirteen Cabinet and independent agencies and components of the Executive Office of the President.
President Biden first announced the creation of the Task Force on the June 1, 2021 centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, where he charged federal agencies with evaluating the causes, extent, and consequences of appraisal bias and establishing a transformative set of actions to root out inequity. Homeownership remains the biggest driver of the wealth gap, with wide racial and ethnic disparities in homeownership rates and the financial return associated with owning a home. Today, the median white family holds eight times the wealth of the average Black family and five times the wealth of the average Latino family.
The PAVE Task Force engaged more than 150 stakeholder groups including appraisers, appraisal management companies, lenders, civil rights and advocacy groups, academic institutions, philanthropy organizations, and individuals who have experienced instances of appraisal bias to listen and learn diverse perspectives on what is working and how the Federal government can work to embed equity in the home valuation process.
The plan outlines actions that will substantially reduce racial bias in home appraisals, including steps federal agencies will take using their existing authorities to enhance oversight and accountability of the appraisal industry and empower homeowners and homebuyers to take action when they receive a valuation that is lower than expected.
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