The Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced a major effort aimed at reducing violations of the Fair Housing Act in the home loan appraisal process. The agency has submitted a PAVE action plan to President Biden. PAVE is also known as the Interagency Task Force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity.
This plan is designed to help end what the FHA and HUD describe as “racial bias in the home lending and appraisal process” and is considered by the designers to be one of the most ambitious Fair Housing reforms in this part of the housing industry. PAVE is a multi-agency cooperative effort and includes cabinet-level leadership as well as independent entities.
According to the HUD press release, the PAVE task force was announced on June 1, 2021, which is the same date as the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre.
The President of the United States then tasked federal agencies with the job of, “evaluating the causes, extent, and consequences of appraisal bias and establishing a transformative set of actions to root out inequity” according to a HUD press release.
What will PAVE do? The plan is meant to reduce bias in the home appraisal process as well as to increase federal oversight and accountability.
“For generations, millions of Black and brown Americans have had their homes valued for less than their white counterparts simply because of the color of their skin or the racial makeup of the neighborhood.”
“Black and brown homeowners in communities just like mine have not felt that they have had a voice or that the Federal government was doing enough to redress the issue of racial bias in the appraisal process” according to Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, who adds that the effort is a “whole-of-government” approach to fixing this problem,”
Homeownership is a way to build generational wealth, and part of PAVE is acknowledging that generational wealth is denied to those who experience discrimination at any stage in the housing process including (but never limited to) seeking a home loan, looking for a house to purchase, or looking to have that house appraised.
“Since his very first day in office, President Biden has made advancing equity and racial justice a top priority across the entire federal government,” according to Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice, who was quoted in the HUD press release.
Rice acknowledges the country still has a long way to go before bias is reduced in a significant way, but she adds that the results are worth the effort.
“This PAVE Task Force took that responsibility seriously. We have a long way to go, but the steps laid out in this Action Plan will help our country reduce bias in home valuations, narrow the racial wealth gap, and deliver a stronger and more equitable future for all Americans.”
The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal for anyone to discriminate against you no matter what stage of the housing process you might be in; buying, renting, having a home appraised, getting a loan, or even simply seeking information about housing options. If you have been discriminated against in the housing process, file a complaint with the HUD Office of Housing And Equal Opportunity.