The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently issued a press release announcing a 2023 update to its Equity Action Plan. The Equity Action Plan is part of HUD’s efforts to implement President Biden’s Executive Order on “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.”

The Action Plan first sets forth various efforts undertaken and planned by HUD to address housing equity, and then identifies five strategies to advance the goal of housing equity in fiscal year 2024 (the federal government’s fiscal year is October 1 to September 30). While the Action Plan mostly focuses on housing-related matters, it also reflects the continued focus of the federal government on appraisal bias in residential mortgage lending, and the continued approach of the federal government to intertwine Limited English Proficiency (LEP) with fair lending and fair housing concepts.

Appraisal Bias

In addressing efforts already undertaken by HUD the Action Plan provides:

“The Office of Single Family Housing is working to empower consumers to take action against appraisal bias by creating a process to allow prospective borrowers applying for FHA-insured loans to request a Reconsideration of Value (ROV) on a property if the initial valuation is lower because of suspected illegal discrimination; increased transparency and leveraged federal data to inform policy and improve enforcement against appraisal bias and discrimination by providing the public with access to the data and trends found in appraisal reports.”

We previously reported on efforts by HUD and by the CFPB, along with other federal agencies, to develop ROV guidance.

Additionally, the Action Plan provides that:

“HUD has also partnered with the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), an organization that aims to utilize economic, political, legal, and social leverage to remediate disparate and discriminatory housing and property ownership policies and practices prevailing in the United States, to tackle appraisal bias and discrimination in the housing market that will focus on increasing education, outreach, and efforts to combat racial appraisal bias in home property valuation.”

Of the five strategies in the Action Plan, the second strategy is “[a]dvance sustainable homeownership and wealth generation by reducing appraisal bias and expanding access to homeownership.” The collaborating federal agencies with regard to this strategy are the U.S. Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Commerce, General Services Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Energy, and U.S. Department of Treasury. To help address appraisal bias the Action Plan notes that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is now contributing its appraisal data to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA’s) Federal Shared Appraisal Database, which is the nation’s first publicly available datasets of aggregate statistics on appraisal records. The FHFA’s appraisal data also includes information from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We have previously reported on FHFA’s assessment of such data as reflecting appraisal bias here and here.

The Action Plan also provides that “[t]hrough HUD’s new partnership with [NAREB, it] will work to increase education and outreach, and take a bold step toward remedying appraisal discrimination, closing the wealth gap, and advancing racial equity.” Additionally, the Action plan notes that HUD and the FHFA have initiated a working group to increase coordination and develop more consistent standards for the ROV processes of FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac lenders.


In connection with the second strategy, the Action Plan identifies various barriers preventing families from becoming homeowners, and includes as one of the barriers a lack of understanding and information about the home-buying process, especially for families for whom English is a second language. Additionally, the third strategy identified in the Action Plan is “[r]educe barriers and enhance support for protected classes of people by enforcing fair housing regulations, advancing housing justice, and improving rental assistance.” The whole-of government equity objective for this strategy is “[p]rotect the civil and constitutional rights of all persons including the right to vote, language access, and prohibitions on discrimination on the basis of race, sex, disability, etc.” The collaborating agencies for this strategy are the U.S. Department of Justice, CFPB, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Action Plan does not identify any planned actions by HUD regarding LEP in connection with housing equity.