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Maryland bill proposed after WUSA9 investigation now law

Maryland HB 1097 creates a task force to study the misvalue and undervaluation of property owned by minorities.

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. — A bill proposed in the Maryland legislature in response to a WUSA9 investigation exposing allegations of home appraisal bias will now become law and goes into effect on October 1.

Maryland HB 1097 creates a task force to study the misvalue and undervaluation of property owned by minorities. Several homeowners in Prince George’s County told WUSA9’s Larry Miller last November that their homes were valued differently because they’re Black and live in a majority Black neighborhood. WUSA9's reporting sparked outrage and calls for change by state leaders and those vying for office.

The bill passed the Maryland legislature in March. Republican Governor Larry Hogan did not sign the bill and his office did not respond when WUSA9 reached out multiple times for comment. Laws approved by the legislature will go into effect if they are not vetoed by the governor, according to Maryland law.  

In addition, the Biden Administration announced policy changes aimed at increasing transparency in the home appraisal process and diversity within the home appraisal industry. In addition, a 54-page report released by the Interagency Task Force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity Wednesday confirmed what many Black and brown homeowners alleged for years: Houses in majority-minority neighborhoods are frequently undervalued.

“Data finds 12.5% of appraisals for home purchases in majority-Black neighborhoods and 15.4% in majority-Latino neighborhoods result in a value below the contract price, compared to only 7.4% of appraisals in predominately White neighborhoods,” the report cited.

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