Cephas to introduce a bill that would protect homeowners and address racial bias in real estate appraisals

HARRISBURG, Aug. 23 – In an effort to help Pennsylvania homeowners to get a fair appraisal of their properties, state Rep. Morgan Cephas said she plans to introduce legislation that would address discrimination in housing and ensure equity in the real estate appraisal process.

“Current laws do not prevent home appraisers from discriminating against people of color, or other marginalized communities for that matter. With little regulation or oversight, appraisals can make or break the value of a home,” Cephas said. “My legislation would require real estate appraisers to complete training regarding bias and discrimination prior to receiving their certification or license or prior to renewing their certification or license.”

Cephas’ legislation would also forbid a licensed or certified real estate appraiser from incorporating bias or discrimination into their appraisal of real estate.

“It is important that we put training in place that make appraisers aware of the presence of bias or discrimination in housing and ensure that they are conducting themselves with equity and fairness,” Cephas said. “Every family deserves a fair shot at their dream home.”

Bound by the federal Fair Housing Act, home appraisers are prohibited from discriminating against homeowners based on their race, religion, national origin, or gender. In addition, Title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 requires appraisers to follow a certain standard of unbiased ethics and performance.