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December 15, 2022

Charlotte selected for $5M initiative to diversify appraisal industry, combat discrimination

In response to findings of appraisal-based discrimination within the residential housing industry, Wells Fargo and the National Urban League have chosen Charlotte and two other cities for a $5 million pilot training program to add 260 diverse appraisers to the industry over the next five years. The Diverse Appraiser Initiative is being launched to open up the property appraisal industry to more diverse groups and expand entrepreneurial opportunities for those who are not aware of the profession.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 97% of appraisers are white and about 70% male. Data compiled over the past several years by Freddie Mac, the National Fair Housing Alliance, the Brookings Institute, and other organizations found that conscious/unconscious bias (based on race and location of property) of appraisers negatively impacts the market value of homes in non-white neighborhoods.

Their actions often times result in Black, Asian and Hispanic homebuyers having their homes being valued significantly less in neighborhoods where they are the majority in comparison to similar, nearly all white communities.

Lower appraisals aggravate the wealth gap with these groups losing billions in economic power. For example, Black neighborhoods on average appraise 23% less in value compared to white neighborhoods and continue to be the most maligned of all groups.

The initiative is a 5-year plan and will also target Atlanta and Houston.

Want to learn more? Read about the widespread issue of appraisal bias and discrimination via Business Insider and the New York Times.

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