Black Voices: Black people in America are still disadvantaged in the housing market


Redlining, which is discrimination in mortgage lending on the basis of race, was banned in 1968 by the Fair Housing Act. Either way, black people across the United States continue to receive unfair treatment in the housing market.

In particular, black homeowners across the country receive lower valuations than their white counterparts when they decide to sell their homes or refinance their mortgage.

In Indianapolis, Carlette Duffy had to fight persistently for the proper valuation she deserved after two valuations of her house dropped to a strangely low level. After receiving the second appraisal of $ 110,000 for her house, which she knew was worth at least $ 185,000, Duffy decided to change her approach. She removed family photos from her home, chose not to disclose her race and was not present during the assessment. Instead, she asked a white friend to play the role of her brother to meet the assessor. The result was an appraisal of $ 259,000, more than double the two previous appraisals she received.

“She was initially thrilled to have gotten the value she thought her house deserved,” said Duffy’s spokesperson. “But almost immediately after, she was heartbroken for what she had to do to get that value.”

Stephen richmond, from a suburb of Hartford, Connecticut, shared a similar experience. After questioning the first appraisal he received, Richmond removed family photos and asked a white neighbor to act as the landlord when the appraiser arrived. Its result was a $ 40,000 increase in appraisal over the first appraisal.

Duffy and Richmond are just two of the countless examples of the barriers black Americans continue to face in the housing market.

According to a Brooking Report on asset devaluation in black neighborhoods, a home in a predominantly black neighborhood is likely to be valued 23% less than an effectively identical home in a predominantly white neighborhood.

This disparity is even greater between communities that were once marked in red and communities that were historically white. In Fulton County, Georgia, there is a 67% difference between house prices in white communities and communities previously marked in red. These obstacles that black people face are believed to have cost black homeowners 156 billion dollars in cumulative losses.

In Richmond’s case, his race affected his assessment regardless of his neighborhood. This is a product of a valuation industry that operates with very little oversight and is inherently subjective. There are limited checks on the work of an appraiser and virtually no recourse for someone like Duffy, who knows his house is undervalued.

NBC News said the industry also lacks diversity, as over 85% of reviewers are white and less than 2% of reviewers are black. While there is legislation, such as Title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Restoration and Enforcement Act, which requires assessors to be impartial, the history and lack of oversight allows black owners to be continually disadvantaged more than 50 years after the ban on redlining.

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