U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Marcia Fudge served as one of the main speakers at the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) convention to encourage the work of the organization and to announce a partnership.
The convention took place in Houston from Aug. 1-6. NAREB agreed to work with HUD to address appraisal bias and discrimination through education, outreach, and other activities.
“I live in a Black neighborhood by choice, my home is bigger, my lot is bigger, yet my home is valued less than the white neighborhood down the block; this must change,” Fudge said.
The secretary also said online training opportunities for housing counselors to understand racial appraisal bias in home property valuation will be part of the partnership. Additionally, roundtable discussions at regional HUD Office of Housing Counseling meetings around the country will help stakeholders and homeowners better understand the appraisal bias in specific geographic areas; build public-private partnerships to combat appraisal bias; and share best practices for housing counselors to help impacted families.
Fudge praised NAREB President Lydia Pope, a fellow Clevelander, describing her as “not only a phenomenal leader but a homegirl.”
The secretary said she is serious about fighting housing bias and helping people of color to become more housing secure.
“There’s a new sheriff in town, and her administration is committed to ensuring they make a difference in the lives of Black and Brown people,” Fudge said. “I am doing my job leaving no doubt about her dedication to the mission.”
Fudge told the attendees that rental payment history can be used as a credit reference for Federal Housing Administration loans. She emphasized the importance of owning a home in building Black wealth, saying “we cannot deal with inflation until we deal with the housing crisis” and “most of us build wealth through homeownership.”
Fudge dismissed policymakers who are saying that homeownership is not necessary for young people.
“Who told them that foolishness?” she said. “We need to help get them in homes, so we need your advocacy.”
Pope said Fudge’s message went over well with the gathering.
“Secretary Fudge’s address impacted the NAREB convention attendees, motivating them to embrace the challenges ahead and work together toward creating a more equitable and inclusive housing landscape,” the president said.
Source: Washington Informer