The Prince George’s County Council, during its Nov. 7 session, unanimously enacted a bill establishing a ban on real estate appraisal bias in the county.
The bill — The Real Estate Appraisal Bias Ban Act of 2023 — was proposed by Council members Mel Franklin (D-At Large), Calvin S. Hawkins (D-At Large) and Sydney Harrison (D-District 9).
The measure prohibits real estate appraisers from considering race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, disability, familial status, or national origin in their appraisal analysis.
The bill also directs the Office of Human Rights to publicize its role in enforcing the ban, including instructing residents on how to file a claim. Violators could be fined up to $10,000.
Franklin said the goal of the bill is fair and equitable real estate assessments for county residents.
“Racial and other discrimination in the appraisal of real estate has been documented numerous times across our country, including right here in Prince George’s County,” he said. “Appraisal bias costs working families millions each year in equity and generational wealth in the value of their homes, the largest asset for most families. When someone’s home is devalued just because of the color of their skin, it is a violation of their civil rights and basic humanity. Prince George’s County has long been a standard bearer for homeownership for Black and Brown communities. There must be zero tolerance here and anywhere in our nation for real estate appraisal bias.”
The measure will take effect 45 days after it becomes law.
Source: Washington Informer