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Reducing Bias in Home Appraisals: The Roles for Policy and Technology

Racial discrimination and inequity are common in the appraisal process, which assigns economic value to a property and is crucial in selling, buying, or refinancing a home. As a result, homes owned by people of color are disproportionately undervalued. The issue has received recent attention from policymakers in Congress and in the Biden Administration with the Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) task force, from which a much-anticipated report on findings is expected later this month. A growing number of technology innovations have also recently emerged to improve the efficiency and reduce bias in the appraisal process.

A blog post Reducing Bias in Home Appraisals: The Roles for Policy and Technology authored by Housing Lab Graduate Student Fellow Hannah Gable and Terner Center Policy Director David Garcia explores appraisal bias and its impact on wealth creation in communities of color, particularly Black communities, and the role policy changes and technological innovations can play in reducing appraisal bias moving forward.

For more work on the racial wealth gap, see our paper Crisis, Response, and Recovery: The Federal Government and the Black/White Homeownership Gap, authored by our Faculty Research Advisor Carolina Reid and which was featured in a recent piece on CNN.

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