2/13/2023 in News & Media, Press Releases

Leading Civil Rights and Consumer Advocates Press for Urgently Needed Reform of Appraisal System for Fairness 


February 13, 2023  

Contact: Izzy Woodruff, iwoodruff@nationalfairhousing.org     

Washington D.C. — The National Fair Housing Alliance (“NFHA”) and partners reaffirmed the urgent call for critically important appraisal reforms, including setting deadlines for reforms to take place, providing a clear process for consumers to raise concerns about an appraisal with lenders and clearer nondiscrimination language in appraisal standards. 

“An appraisal has the power to determine the value of what is often a consumer’s most important financial asset — their house. This, in turn, can hold the key to determining whether a consumer can access credit on reasonable terms and build wealth for generations to come,” said Maureen Yap, Senior Counsel of NFHA. Recent research and news stories highlight how appraisal bias impacts consumers and communities of color and exacerbates the racial wealth gap. The need to reform the appraisal process and appraiser oversight is urgent and immediate.” 

“While we applaud the agencies and The Appraisal Foundation for taking certain steps to address appraisal issues, the fact that advocates have to monitor and comment on actions across various agencies and a nonprofit organization highlights the weaknesses in oversight of the appraisal industry and the need for a consistent, whole-of-government approach,” said Ms. Yap. “We look forward to continued dialogue and coordination with federal agencies and The Appraisal Foundation to address the key issues in appraisal reform.” 

In the past two weeks, leading civil rights and consumer advocates  issued letters to the following organizations: 

  • The Appraisal Subcommittee (“ASC”), a federal agency that oversees the nonprofit that issues appraisal standards (The Appraisal Foundation or “TAF”). Advocates strongly urge the ASC to set public goals and timelines for concrete action in several key areas of reform, including governance and oversight of the appraisal industry, appraiser qualification criteria, appraisal standards, and automated valuation model standards. Click here to read the letter.
  • The Appraisal Foundation (“TAF”), a private, non profit organization that sets the standards for appraisals and the professional qualification criteria for appraisers. After a January 2022  report raising concerns about the lack of clear nondiscrimination language in the appraisal standards, TAF’s Appraisal Standards Board has now issued a fourth draft of proposed nondiscrimination language to add to its Ethics Rule. The advocates have urged TAF to adopt a more streamlined version that will be easier for appraisers and other real estate professionals to understand. Click here to read the letter.
  • The Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”), which maintains a roster of appraisers to provide an opinion of value to the FHA in connection with FHA mortgages. The FHA recently issued a proposal to revise FHA’s process which allows a consumer to raise concerns about the appraisal with the lender. The advocates generally support revising the ROV process, but strongly urge the FHA to provide clear, strong standards for lenders and a uniform ROV disclosure for borrowers. Click here to read the letter.
  • The Veterans Administration (“VA”), which retains appraisers to provide an opinion of value to the VA in connection with VA home loans. Late last year, President Biden signed the Improving Access to the VA Home Loan Benefit Act of 2022, which requires the VA to implement new appraisal rules and policies within 180 days of enactment. Since then, the VA released guidance under Circular 26-23-05, entitled, “Oversight of Appraisal Reports to Promote Fair Housing for All Veterans Obtaining Loans Backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.” The advocates strongly urge the VA to incorporate civil rights and consumer perspectives in the upcoming revisions to appraisal regulations and policies, and to provide transparency regarding the VA’s standards for fair housing oversight and accountability mechanisms. Click here to read the letter.


The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) is the country’s only national civil rights organization dedicated solely to eliminating all forms of housing and lending discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities for all people. As the trade association for over 170 fair housing and justice-centered organizations and individuals throughout the U.S. and its territories, NFHA works to dismantle longstanding barriers to equity and build diverse, inclusive, well-resourced communities.