Connect with us

Homeownership

New Cal Law Addresses Anti-Black Bias in Home Appraisal Process

“Black homeowners in predominantly White neighborhoods are getting their homes appraised for far less than their neighbors,” Holden said. “It’s just another example of how bias, whether explicit or implicit, creates inequity for Black Americans. This is redlining 2.0.”

Published

on

Before she puts the home on the market, the mid adult realtor evaluates the property.

Paul Austin and his wife Tenisha Tate, a Bay Area Black couple, were confident that the sale of their Marin City home would net them a sizeable profit. They had invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into renovations before putting it on the market.

But that process turned sour when the couple discovered alarming race-based discrimination baked into the system of home appraisals.

Austin shared that harrowing experience with the California Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals during its fourth meeting on Oct. 13.

California’s Assembly Bill (AB) 3121, signed into law in 2020, created the nine-member task force to investigate the history and costs of slavery in California and around the United States. The group is charged with studying and developing reparation proposals for African Americans and recommending appropriate ways to educate Californians about the task force’s findings.

Austin’s testimony added to the growing body of evidence that the wealth gap that exists between Black and White families in the United States was created — and has been maintained throughout history – by deep-rooted racial biases and intentional government policy at the federal, state and local levels.

“We had an appraiser come out in 2019 to appraise our home,” Austin said, talking about selling of his home, which is located five miles north of San Francisco. “She was an older White woman, and she appraised our house for just under a $1 million after we had already put in an additional $400,00 into our property. We did our homework because we should have appraised for $1.4 million. We had to fight against it.”

Austin and his wife added an additional 1,300 square feet to the home’s original 1,300 square footage, he told the Task Force

A qualified appraiser is responsible for creating a report based on a visual inspection. The property’s lot size, square footage, amenities, and number of bedrooms and bathrooms are expected to provide the basis for an unbiased valuation.

When Austin and Tate found a second appraiser, they decided to ask a White female friend to pose as the seller. This time around, they actually netted a surprisingly higher offer of $500,000 more.

When Austin and Tate’s story went viral and made headlines in news reports around the world, other Black families emerged to share disturbing stories of how they, too, were given deceptively low estimations of their homes’ values.

“We’re right at the beginning. The story is now being told,” Austin told the task force. “But within our community, we have not had the opportunity to galvanize people to start looking at their loans and appraisals and comparing them with others, and I mean White folks, to see what’s going on in this industry.”

On Sept. 28, Gov. Newsom signed Assemblymember Chris Holden’s (D-Pasadena) legislation Assembly Bill (AB) 948, which would address discrimination in the real estate appraisal process, such as the prejudicial treatment of Austin and his wife received.

“Black homeowners in predominantly White neighborhoods are getting their homes appraised for far less than their neighbors,” Holden said. “It’s just another example of how bias, whether explicit or implicit, creates inequity for Black Americans. This is redlining 2.0.”

AB 948 would require the Bureau of California Real Estate Appraisals to gather demographic information on buyers and sellers of real estate property and compile data of homeowners from protected classes who file complaints based on low appraisals. The legislation also requires appraisers to take anti-bias training when renewing their licenses.

“This bill reflects a starting point in a much-needed conversation about how discrimination is still prevalent in the home buying and selling process, and I am committed to addressing this inequity,” Holden said.

Less than one in five Black California households could afford to purchase a home valued at the statewide median-price of $659,380 in 2020, as compared to two in five White California households that could buy a home at the same price, according to the California Association Realtors (CAR).

CAR also stated in a February report that the affordability gap is “stark in expensive counties like San Francisco,” where a median-priced home of $1,650,000 was only affordable for 8% of Black households, 15% of Latinx households, and 22%of Asian households, compared to 35% of White households.

The 2019 homeownership rate in California was 63.2% for Whites, 60.2% for Asians, 44.1% for Latinx and 36.8% for Blacks, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Austin said that his family was part of the “second wave Great Migration” of Black people from the Deep South that settled in California around the 1940s. Many of them worked in the Sausalito shipyard in Marin County.

Many of the Black families that came to California during that period lived in government housing in Marin City while working in the naval shipyards in and around San Francisco. When World War II ended, Austin’s grandparents had enough money to purchase a home anywhere in Marin County.

“Due to redlining, they did not have that opportunity. Blacks weren’t able to buy land outside of Marin City,” he said. “If you look at Marin County, currently it’s arguably the richest county in California. The data also shows, when race counts, that Marin County, as a whole, has the largest disparities anywhere. It’s such a huge gap.”

Austin, who attended the Historical Black College and University, Texas Southern University in Houston, said that he doesn’t want to see his children or other Black Californians deal with the same types of issues.

“Just think that if we didn’t have the will to fight the appraisal company,” Austin said. “It’s the systems that have been created by White people for White people that continuously, negatively affect people that look like me. Now it’s time to take those steps and right the wrongs.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

Focusing on Financial Health: Charting the Path Toward Your Next Milestone

Let’s talk about the basics first. Managing your money can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. Understanding things like budgeting, saving, paying your bills, and even building your credit score are skills that can help you at any stage of life. Even in difficult times, when so many are facing greater uncertainty around finances and job security, understanding core financial skills can be the difference maker.

Published

on

Whether you’re looking to become financially independent, planning for a long-awaited vacation, or saving for a down payment to buy your first home, it’s important to become aware of the tools and skills available to help make your financial journey as smooth as possible.
Whether you’re looking to become financially independent, planning for a long-awaited vacation, or saving for a down payment to buy your first home, it’s important to become aware of the tools and skills available to help make your financial journey as smooth as possible.

When was the last time you looked at your bank account balance? According to a survey, over 60% of Americans check their balance at least once a week. This habit, if practiced the right way, can put you on the path to achieving your financial goals.

Whether you’re looking to become financially independent, planning for a long-awaited vacation, or saving for a down payment to buy your first home, it’s important to become aware of the tools and skills available to help make your financial journey as smooth as possible.

Let’s talk about the basics first. Managing your money can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. Understanding things like budgeting, saving, paying your bills, and even building your credit score are skills that can help you at any stage of life.

Even in difficult times, when so many are facing greater uncertainty around finances and job security, understanding core financial skills can be the difference maker.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 44% of Black Americans said that either they or someone in their family has experienced a job or wage loss due to COVID. In these situations, especially, it is critical to know how to manage your finances to stay or get back on track.

If you’re unsure of where to begin, how to start making progress, or simply looking to refresh your knowledge, consider the following as you chart a successful path forward and take control of your financial future.

Advice and Tools

JPMorgan Chase’s financial goals hub is a great place to start. Start by picking a goal – save, budget or build credit – and explore advice, offerings and tools that more simply allow you to control your financial future. The Grow Your Savings page, for example, offers an interactive calculator that maps out a timeline to reach savings goals and highlights how the Autosave tool can help you manage a regular savings schedule to stay on track and meet your goals. Other resources, such as budget worksheets, are also available to monitor and track monthly spending, as well as guidance on using the Credit Journey tool to build and protect credit, and background on low-cost checking accounts designed to provide access for anyone who has had trouble getting or keeping an account in the past.

If you’re unsure of where to begin, how to start making progress, or simply looking to refresh your knowledge, consider the following as you chart a successful path forward and take control of your financial future

If you’re unsure of where to begin, how to start making progress, or simply looking to refresh your knowledge, consider the following as you chart a successful path forward and take control of your financial future

Reserved Capital for Business Owners

Education, reliable support and resources are fundamental first steps to financial literacy, as well as having access to capital. Through JPMorgan Chase’s Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, we’re working to provide more access to capital to future entrepreneurs, existing business owners and communities who have historically struggled to secure it. JPMorgan Chase is also setting aside funds specifically for Black and Hispanic business owners – stop into your local branch and talk with a Chase for Business representative to see if you qualify.

Equitable Home Lending

One way we hope to increase property ownership among Black communities is through our Chase DreaMaker mortgage, which makes applying for your first mortgage or refinancing a current one more attainable with a smaller down payment, and by offering reduced mortgage insurance, more flexibility around your credit score, potential assistance grants and homebuyer education courses.

No matter where you are financially, budgeting and saving are two key habits that can help all of us bounce back from life’s unexpected moments or keep you on track to ensure you meet your goals. That is why JPMorgan Chase is here to help everyone have open conversations about what it means to be financially healthy while providing the support, tools and advice to get there. Financial health is a journey, and we can help you think about a plan for now and the future.

For more resources, information and access to tools that can help you achieve your financial goals and milestones, visit chase.com/personal/financial-goals.

Sponsored content from JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Continue Reading

Black History

The Way West: Reparations Task Force Looks at Black Migration to California

During its third meeting, California’s Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans looked at reasons formerly enslaved Black people migrated to the Golden State — and detailed setbacks they faced after arriving. 

Published

on

"Scott and Violet Arthur arrive with their family at Chicago's Polk Street Depot on Aug. 30, 1920, two months after their two sons were lynched in Paris, Texas. The picture has become an iconic symbol of the Great Migration. (Chicago History Museum)"[1]/ Wikimedia Commons

 I was leaving the South

to fling myself into the unknown…

I was taking a part of the South

to transplant in alien soil,

to see if it could grow differently,

if it could drink of new and cool rains,

bend in strange winds,

respond to the warmth of other suns

and, perhaps, to bloom.

- Richard Wright, the author of Black Boy, 1945

    During its third meeting, California’s Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans looked at reasons formerly enslaved Black people migrated to the Golden State — and detailed setbacks they faced after arriving. 

    During the period historians dub the “Great Migration”– which lasted from the early 1900s through the 1970s – approximately 6 million Black Americans relocated from Deep South states to Northern, Midwestern, Eastern and Western states. Significant numbers ended up in California, escaping Jim Crow laws and racial violence and seeking economic opportunity. 

     Isabel Wilkerson, author of “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, “described the movement as “a redistribution of Black people.”  

    “It was the only time in America’s history that American citizens had to flee the land of their birth just to be recognized as the citizens that they had always been,” Wilkerson said, pointing out that no other group of Americans has been displaced under similar conditions.

     After President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, the Reconstruction era began. It was a period of prosperity as some Blacks in different places began to establish businesses and communities; contest for (and win) political office; establish schools, and more. 

     But it was short-lived because of white backlash, Wilkerson said. 

     By the early 1900s, racist white Southerners began to terrorize freed Black people with cross burnings, and racial violence — and discriminate against them by instituting Jim Crow laws. 

     There was a spike in lynchings, and a sharecropping system that mirrored the conditions of slavery began to take form in the 11 former slaveholding states.

     Under those policies, opportunities for Blacks were almost nonexistent.

    After World War World I began in Europe in 1914, there was a shortage of labor. Factories started luring Black people North to fill vacancies. By 1919, an estimated 1 million Southern Blacks had departed for the North.

    By the 1930s, the Great Depression had slowed Black migration. But the revival of the exodus from the South, a period historians call the “Second Great Migration,” started around 1939. 

     This time around, California was a major destination. 

    As Black people left the South, Wilkerson said, they “followed three, beautifully predictable streams — pathways to freedom.” The first two led to Eastern and Midwestern states. The “West Coast stream,” Wilkerson told the task force, “carried people from Louisiana and Texas out to California and the entire West Coast.”

    World War II created an expansion of the country’s defense industry, according to the Southern California public television network,. During this time, more jobs were available to African Americans. California cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland began to see an influx of Black people.

    According to KCET, a Southern California public television network, the Black population in Los Angeles grew from 63,700 in the 1940s to 763,000 in 1970. The migration was largely fueled by job openings in industries manufacturing automobiles, rubber, and steel. The presence of Blacks became evident along Central Avenue between 8th and 20th streets in California’s largest city.

     “(Black southerners) were recruited to the North and West to fill labor shortages in the steel mills, factories and shipyards,” Wilkerson said. “It turned out that they wanted the labor but did not want the people.”

    The response to the Great Migration was “structural barriers of exclusion,” Wilkerson said. Restrictive covenants required white property owners to agree not to sell to Black people and many areas in large and mid-range cities were redlined to deny services to Blacks. 

   “By law and by policies, parents, grandparents or great-grandparents of almost every African American alive today (were denied) the greatest source of wealth in this country: homeownership, the American Dream itself,” Wilkerson said.  

    “With all the testimony I’ve heard, I don’t see how any person of conscience, character and civility could not understand that the facts have been given,” said Task Force vice-chair, the Rev. Amos Brown, pastor of Third Baptist Church in San Francisco and president of that city’s NAACP branch. 

   The purpose of the nine-member task force is to study and develop reparation proposals for African Americans and recommend appropriate ways to educate the Californians about the task force’s findings.

    Sanctioned from 1619 to 1865, legalized slavery in the United States deprived more than 4 million Africans and their descendants of citizenship rights and economic opportunity. After it was abolished, government institutions at the federal, state, and local levels perpetuated, condoned, and often profited from practices that disadvantaged African Americans and excluded them from participation in society.

     “On those sugar, rice, and tobacco fields (in the deep south) were opera singers, jazz musicians, novelists, surgeons, attorneys, professors, accountants, and legislators,” Wilkerson said. “How do we know that? Because that is what they and their children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren have often chosen to become.”

    Wilkerson first gained national attention in 1994, when she became the first Black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 1994, while employed as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times.

    Wilkerson’s parents are both from Southern states, but they stayed in Wash., D.C., where she was born, after meeting at Howard University. It was her parents’ migration northward, she says, that inspired her research on an era that helped to shape the country’s current demographics.  

     “Slavery has lasted so long that it will not be until next year, 2022, that the United States would have been a free and independent nation for as long as slavery lasted on this soil,” she said. 

Continue Reading

Business

A’s Owner John Fisher Port Proposal No Good for Oakland

Billionaire John Fisher, owner of the A’s, has things to do before he can take over Oakland’s public port property to build malls and housing for the rich. 

Published

on

Howard Terminal on Port of Oakland Map

OPINION

Billionaire John Fisher, owner of the A’s, has things to do before he can take over Oakland’s public port property to build malls and housing for the rich. 

It is such a bad idea and the costs to the public are so ridiculous that logically it shouldn’t happen.  But this right-wing, Trump-supporting Republican has a boatload of money and a few corporation-oriented politicians to help him push it through.  

So, Oaklanders need to be active, or he might get it. Here are two of the things we need to act on: 

  1. Fisher won’t spend his own money.  So, he wants Alameda County to give up spending on things like the COVID-19 pandemic, so we residents can pay for his project with taxpayer money.  The vote on this will come up to the Board of Supervisors on October 26.  If you’d prefer that the County fund health care, housing and other resident necessities, ask them to vote “No.” Call your supervisor at 510-208-4949 and/or attend the meeting.
  2. The Oakland City Council will make the ultimate decision about Fisher’s project and there are a zillion reasons they should say “No.”  Among them: a) Fisher’s project requires that thousands of people run across the tracks of a busy railroad, which killed a number of people even before there were big crowds needing to get to their condos or a stadium.   b) And  Fisher’s project would wreck Oakland’s Port.  The “Seaport Compatibility Measures” necessary to keep the Port alive would cost hundreds of millions of dollars which would not be needed if it were not for Fisher’s project.  So, Fisher, not taxpayers, should pay for them. c)  And then there are all the other ways it will hurt the waterfront, the environment, and Port workers.

You can get contact information to reach your Council member here – https://www.oaklandca.gov/officials

Personally, any public official who votes for Fisher’s project will never get my vote again.   Call me hard-headed, but the harm to  Oakland as a working-class, multi-racial city, the harm to the ILWU (the union of Port workers, perhaps the most progressive union in America)  and the opposition of the people of East Oakland are enough to make my hard head think that’s what solidarity requires.

Continue Reading

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending