Today, the Legal Defense Fund and a coalition of civil rights and fair housing organizations sent a letter to the White House, Congress, and HUD calling for comprehensive appraisal reform to ensure fair valuation of homes. The recommendations will address the systemic failures of the nation’s property valuation system, which continue to stifle wealth creation for too many people and communities and undermine our nation’s economy. The coalition also urges legislators to transfer rulemaking authority for the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) and the Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria from The Appraisal Foundation to the Appraisal Subcommittee. Any other approach would be cumbersome, ineffective, and fail to provide meaningful reform.
There is ample evidence that our nation’s property valuation system is broken. A study commissioned by the Appraisal Subcommittee and conducted by the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) about Appraisal Criteria and Appraiser Standards including appraisal bias documented the systemic challenges driving appraisal bias and recommendations to address discrimination and inequities. Comprehensive, strong, and effective legislation is needed to update the governance structure for the appraisal industry and provide a federal regulator with the accountability and authority to issue guidance and provide meaningful oversight for the appraisal system and industry.
Read the full letter here.
Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.