A Bay-Area-based black couple, Paul Austin and Tenisha Tate-Austin, are suing an appraiser for discrimination after their home was valued at $500,000 less than previous appraisals, despite upgrades made to the house. The appraiser, Janette Miller of Miller & Perotti Real Estate Appraisals, viewed their home and noted the additional floor with 1,000 square feet of new space, the fireplace, new deck, and the room they added for a total of $400,000 in renovations made to the property. Even with the upgrades, their appraisal came in at $995,000. The Austins, suspecting racial bias, asked a white friend to stand in as an owner, whitewashed their home (removed all photos of their family and black art), and received a new appraisal of $1.48 million.
With homeownership being the primary vehicle for wealth generation in the United States, discrimination in the appraisal process is one of many ways that the racial wealth gap persists. You can read more about the Austin's story here.