U.S. House Committee on Financial Services | February 22, 2022
Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, sent a letter to Marcia Fudge, Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as well as the Appraisal Subcommittee, the Appraisal Foundation, and the Appraisal Institute regarding ongoing appraisal bias and discrimination, calling on the federal regulators and the Appraisal Institute to investigate appraiser misconduct and potential illegal discrimination.
The letter highlights longstanding racial inequities plaguing America’s home valuation system, particularly in Black-majority communities and other communities of color. To illuminate the severity of this issue, Chairwoman Waters references an email recently sent by an appraiser who uses racial slurs to describe Black people and implies that appraisers and lenders will deny business to people of color the more discrimination is reported. In response to this email and ongoing reports of discrimination, Waters urges Secretary Fudge, the Appraisal Subcommittee and the appraisal industry to launch a full investigation and announces her plan to introduce legislation to address ongoing discrimination.
“Some may say that the words of one appraiser do not reflect or represent the profession. However, years of data, ongoing research, and numerous settled lawsuits provide ample evidence to the contrary. The email I reference shines a spotlight on the racist stereotypes and harmful lines of thinking prevalent in an industry which systematically devalues the homes of Black people and other people of color…” wrote Chairwoman Waters. “Given this email incident and ongoing reports of appraisal discrimination, I will be introducing legislation to address systemic appraisal discrimination.”