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Rule to Tackle Racial Bias: Vice President Kamala Harris Announces Effort to Address Biased Home Valuations

Racial Bias
Rule to Tackle Racial Bias, Vice President Kamala Harris Announces Effort to Address Biased Home Valuations (PHOTO: CNN)

Vice President Kamala Harris announced on Thursday that the Biden administration is working on a rule to address racial bias in home valuations, NBC News reported.

Racial Bias

Rule to Tackle Racial Bias, Vice President Kamala Harris Announces Effort to Address Biased Home Valuations (PHOTO: NBC News)

Rule to Tackle Racial Bias To Address Biased Home Valuations

The goal is to ensure that financial institutions use appraisal algorithms that are free from bias, particularly in producing lower valuations for homes owned by people of color.

Harris also highlighted the release of guidance that will make it easier for consumers to appeal suspected biased valuations.

The initiative aims to promote fair algorithms and increase transparency in the home valuation process. Harris emphasized that homeownership is a powerful means for American families to build wealth, but homes owned by Black and Latino families are often undervalued compared to those of other homeowners, which can result in higher mortgage costs.

The Vice President acknowledged that only around 5% of home appraisers are people of color and outlined the administration’s plan to provide training opportunities to underrepresented groups in the industry.

The objective is to ensure that home appraisers better reflect the diverse communities they serve.

Studies have revealed disparities in home appraisals, with white-owned homes more likely to be appraised at values that exceed algorithmic predictions compared to homes owned by Black individuals, according to Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden‘s domestic policy adviser.

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Efforts to Tackle Racial Bias

As part of the effort, the administration will make home valuation data for over 600,000 properties available to the public. This expanded pool of data, encompassing 48 million homes, will contribute to a better understanding of the biases present in the home valuation process.

The announcement comes two years after President Biden launched the Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity Task Force, which aims to identify and eliminate bias in home appraisals and valuations.

Harris’s action plan, released last year, included measures to uncover and address racial bias in the valuation process. This involved providing consumers with new tools, conducting data assessments to identify biased assessors, and promoting diversity in the appraiser profession.

The rule to tackle racial bias in home valuations demonstrates the administration’s commitment to advancing equity and fairness in housing, promoting equal opportunities for homeownership, and addressing the systemic barriers that have disadvantaged communities of color for generations.

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