Home State News Biden-⁠Harris Administration Tackles Racial and Ethnic Bias in Home Valuations

Biden-⁠Harris Administration Tackles Racial and Ethnic Bias in Home Valuations

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In June 2021, President Joe Biden announced the creation of the Interagency Task Force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) to root out racial and ethnic bias in home valuations after a report from the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation found that appraisals for home purchases in majority-Black and majority-Latino neighborhoods were roughly twice as likely to result in a value below the actual contract price compared to appraisals in predominantly white neighborhoods. 

The following March, the task force released the PAVE Action Plan, the most wide-ranging set of commitments ever announced to advance equity in the home appraisal process. A year later, on March 23, 2023, the White House Domestic Policy Council, HUD, and PAVE Taskforce Members marked the anniversary of the release of the Action Plan with a factsheet with information on the PAVE Task Force’s progress. The factsheet also highlights what PAVE has accomplished over the last year to ensure that every American who buys a home has the same opportunities to build generational wealth through homeownership. 

As an engaged member of the PAVE Task Force, USDA is working to reduce barriers to homeownership and erode the influence of bias on the U.S. economy. We know that bias in home valuations limits the ability of Black and brown families to enjoy the financial returns associated with homeownership, thereby contributing to the already sprawling racial wealth gap. 

“For too long, rural communities of color have faced racial bias during the home appraisal process,” said Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “The PAVE Action Plan allows USDA and our partnering federal agencies to evaluate home appraisal data in a way that supports our commitment to serving the many and not just the few.” 

USDA has taken several steps to support PAVE, such as updating our handbooks to reinforce that the Equal Credit Opportunity Actapplies to all parties in the homebuying transaction, including appraisers. We are also working with the Federal Housing Finance Agency on a mutual appraisal data sharing agreement. These are just some of the ways we are ensuring home appraisals are fair and unbiased for all. 

Learn more about PAVE and how it affects you at pave.hud.gov.