Mechanisms for Improving Equity in the Housing Market

A new initiative seeks to support innovations that reduce inequalities in home valuations between Black and white neighborhoods.

2 minute read

April 29, 2022, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Chicago, Illinois

James Andrews1 / Shutterstock

Following the 2018 publication of The devaluation of assets in Black neighborhoods, “a report exposing significant inequities that are inherent in housing markets across the U.S.,” a new initiative from the Brookings Institution and Ashoka seeks to “to foster structural innovations that can address systemic racism in the housing market and enable homeowners in Black-majority neighborhoods to realize the value and appreciation of their assets.”

Andre M. Perry and Stuart Yasgur describe the project, which “invited innovators from across the country to submit inspiring ideas for redesigning a more equitable housing market.” According to the authors, “The federal government’s regulation and enforcement functions in housing are critical in closing the valuation gap, but they are not sufficient by themselves. We need an agenda for future research and innovations that scale-up alternatives to traditional appraisals, create new unbiased valuation methods, and diversify the appraisal workforce—96.5% of whom are white.”

“The innovators in the Valuing Homes in Black Communities challenge are working on projects in these areas now—projects we can scale up to lawmakers in Washington. Just as we once built a market on exclusivity, today, we can construct an inclusive one.” The article lists the ten innovators who will receive funding through the program, concluding: “We find ourselves in a rare moment in which researchers, government, corporations, and private citizens can dismantle the drags of racism from housing markets and build an architecture of equality.”

Wednesday, April 27, 2022 in Brookings

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