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Pryor grateful housing task force will study discriminatory appraisal processes in coming months

IBLC, News & Media

INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Cherrish Pryor (D-Indianapolis) is grateful the Legislative Council approved discrimination in appraisals as a topic for the Housing Task Force. The Housing Task Force was created by House Bill 1306 with the purpose of reviewing issues related to housing shortages. Pryor, along with Reps. Doug Miller and Jim Pressel, offered a letter asking Caucus Leaders – Speaker Pro Tempore Rodric Bray, Leader Sen. Greg Taylor, Speaker Todd Huston and House Minority Leader Rep. Phil GiaQuinta – to include appraisal discrimination, redlining and gentrification.

“Hoosiers across the state are struggling to keep a roof over their heads,” Pryor said. “My hope is that this task force will be able to determine the next best steps to mitigate our housing shortage and make sure that everyone – regardless of race, socioeconomic standing or any other factor – are able to get a fair appraisal on their home. While I wish this wasn't necessary, a deeper look into this issue is needed if we want a more equitable Hoosier state.”

One issue facing Hoosiers is a lack of available housing for low and middle income households.  According to the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis, roughly 10% to 20% fewer homes were delivered than demanded in 2021. Further, rising sale prices of homes pose an issue to Indiana residents. In Marion County, median home sale prices are 3.5 times that of the median household income.

 Another report by the National Fair Housing Alliance found documented examples of systemic racism in America's housing and financial markets. The report notes racial discrimination in home appraisals affects African American and Latino homeowners throughout the country.

 Now through November, the Housing Task Force will study data on housing shortages and review state laws affecting local regulation of housing. It will also review efforts from other states in addressing affordable housing shortages and consider measures that could encourage increased housing options, including creating housing density near transit, jobs, schools and neighborhood centers. The task force will also study discriminatory practices in home appraisals thanks to the request from Pryor, Pressel and Miller. 

 During the 2022 Session, Pryor authored House Bill 1326, which would have prohibited discrimination in appraisals and lending based on an applicant's race, religion, sex, disability, familial status and national origin. The bill was referred to the Committee on Financial Institutions and Insurance, but never received a hearing.

“For too many Hoosiers, historic practices of systematic discrimination has impacted their ability to remain housed and stay afloat financially and create generational wealth,” Pryor said. “This task force can shed light on not just the issues Indiana is facing, but on solutions that will create a state that truly works for everyone.”

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