port of harlem magazine
ivan brown realty
Real Estate Brokers Seek to End American Anti-Black Policies
Mar 10 – Mar 23, 2022

ivan brown

With the gap in homeownership between Black and White families is wider today than when housing discrimination was rampant decades ago, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) is launching a“Revive the American Dream of Homeownership” campaign to change public policies that limit the ability of minority and low-to-moderate income families to purchase homes.

As of last summer, the Black homeownership rate was 44.6% compared to 74.2% for Whites, a gap of 29.6%. In 1960, before Civil Rights and Fair Housing laws were enacted, there was a lower 27-point gap between Black homeownership (38%) and White homeownership (65%), demonstrating the substantial need for policies that support homeownership.

“It is clear that the nation needs to address policy and regulations that are barriers to homeownership for African Americans and our quest to close the wealth gap,” commented C. Renee Wilson, NAREB’s new Executive Director.

“We have to take a three-hour course in fair housing every two years before the government will renew our licenses,” added NAREB member Ivan Brown of Ivan Brown Realty on why just relaying on educating real estate professionals on racial fairness obviously has not been enough to ease the gap.

Specifically, NAREB is taking aim at four policy areas they have identified as detrimental to homebuying for minorities and low-to-moderate income families:

Down Payment Assistance. NAREB is fully supportive of the down payment assistance plan in President Biden’s the Build Back Better legislation.

Student Loan Debt. Four years after college graduation, Blacks owe an average of $25,000 more in student loan debt than their White counterparts, and Blacks leave school with an average of $52,726 in student debt, according to the Brookings Institution.

Loan-Level Price Adjustments. A comprehensive study by the Journal of Financial Economics found that risk-equivalent Latinx/Black borrowers pay significantly higher interest rates on government-sponsored enterprise (GSE)-securitized and Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured loans, particularly in minority neighborhoods. The researchers estimate that these rate differences cost minority borrowers more than $450 million yearly.

Fair Fair Appraisals. NAREB wants an end to appraisal bias when Blacks are selling their homes or need a valuation on new ones. There is a growing trend of moving away from physical appraisals towards depending on technology. But that is troublesome because the data entered into any program may already be biased.

A Brookings Institution studyshows that homes in Black neighborhoods appraised for 23% less than similar homes in White neighborhoods. A 2021 Redfin study found that homes in Black neighborhoods are undervalued by $46,000 on average, a gap that has been constant over the past decade. In addition, NAREB calls on the public and in-his-hands sector to help increase the number of Black appraisers. There are78,000 appraisers across the country but only 2% are Black.

NAREB is the oldest minority real estate trade association in America. Realtist is the trademarked name for a member of NAREB, just as Realtor is the trademarked name for real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of Realtors.  
Click here to connect with NAREB in your region to become a member or to find a Realist.

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