A new partnership between the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board (TALCB) and the Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division (TWC) benefits Texas consumers who may experience discrimination or bias in their home appraisal.
Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination by appraisers in conducting home appraisals. Yet, research shows there is bias in property valuations at the national level based on race, ethnicity, or national origin, particularly in majority-Black and majority-Latino neighborhoods, resulting in undervalued properties and ultimately lower financial returns on homeownership.
"Appraisal bias is a serious concern for the appraisal industry. The vast majority of appraisers work to ensure appraisals are completed objectively and without bias. As a Board, we strive to ensure fairness and thoroughness in the investigative process for all involved. Our partnership with TWC expands the resources available to achieve this goal," said TALBC Chair Sara Oates, president of Total Appraisal Management & Review in Austin.
Appraisal bias is now being addressed by the federal Interagency Task Force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE), which is composed of 13 federal agencies, including representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC).
TWC, the state agency that investigates complaints alleging violations of the Texas Fair Housing Act, and TALCB, the state agency that licenses and regulates real property appraisers, will each review complaints by consumers related to appraisals that involve possible fair housing violations.
"The partnership between TALCB and TWC ensures highly-trained staff in both agencies are able to respond to possible instances of bias in appraisals of housing," said TWC Executive Director Ed Serna. "TWC remains dedicated to ensuring all Texans are protected against bias in housing sales, rentals, financing, and appraisals."
"The partnership between TWC and TALCB means Texas consumers affected by appraisal bias can trust that their complaints will be investigated from every angle by professionals with deep knowledge in both fair housing and appraiser industry standards and regulations," said TALCB Commissioner Chelsea Buchholtz.