Recent Brookings analysis from Senior Fellow Andre M. Perry and Nonresident Senior Fellow Jonathan Rothwell found that appraisal transactions in majority-Black neighborhoods are 1.9 times more likely to be appraised under the contract price than homes in majority-white neighborhoods. This contributes to homes in Black neighborhoods being valued roughly 21% to 23% below what their valuations would be in non-Black neighborhoods, resulting in $162 billion in lost equity.
This devaluation, powerfully illustrated in the ABC Owned Television Stations documentary “Our America: Lowballed,” results in limiting wealth accumulation and intergenerational wealth for homeowners in majority-Black neighborhoods. Reporter and Executive Producer Julian Glover profiles incidents of appraisal discrimination experienced by families whose home values jumped as much as $500,000 as a result of “whitewashing” their homes. These “whitewashing” incidents include replacing Black art, books, clothing, and hair products with those that would signal that a white person lived in the house- and getting a white stand-in for the appraisal. Adding to the empirical and anecdotal evidence on appraisal bias, a comprehensive analysis led by the National Fair Housing Alliance reveals systemic barriers in appraisal standards and appraiser criteria suggesting the need for reforms.
On Thursday, January 12, Brookings Metro and the National Fair Housing Alliance co-hosted a screening of an excerpt of “Our America: Lowballed” and will feature speakers discussing racial bias in the home appraisal process, the effects on majority-Black neighborhoods, and what reforms and rules can be implemented at the federal level to remove discrimination from every stage of the home valuation process.
Live ASL Interpretation will be provided at this event. To request additional services or reasonable accommodation, please email Karen Slachetka at KSlachetka@brooking.edu.
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