Assemblywoman Jean-Pierre’s Bill Cracks Down on Discrimination in Real Estate Appraisals

Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre (D-Babylon) announced that legislation she sponsored to prohibit discrimination based on a protected characteristic under the New York State Human Rights Law has passed in the state Assembly (A.6833). The bill would empower the Department of State to revoke or suspend the license of any real estate appraiser found to violate this law.

“In New York, we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind,” said Jean-Pierre. “I am sponsoring this legislation to help ensure all homeowners remain on a level playing field. The bill would protect them from blatant racism displayed by certain real estate appraisers devaluing the homes and neighborhoods of people of color, costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars. Nobody should have to hide their heritage and culture to receive equal treatment. The rich diversity of cultures in New York makes our state a great place to call home.”

A recent analysis of millions of appraisal reports from the Federal Housing Finance Agency yielded disturbing evidence that Black homeowners and majority-Black neighborhoods across the country face considerable discrimination in appraisals of their homes, Jean-Pierre noted. [1] Researchers point to cases in which the presence of cultural items, books written by people of color and the home’s Black owners were found to lower the home’s appraised value by nearly 50% compared to when they were not visible.[2]