An Indianapolis woman says her home was valued substantially higher when she removed evidence that she's Black.
Carlette Duffy filed a housing discrimination complaint after getting a series of appraisals last year as she refinanced her home, which is located in a historically Black neighborhood just outside of downtown — and she was confused when her home was twice valued below her 2017 purchase price, reported WXIN-TV.
"When I challenged it, it came back that the appraiser said they're not changing it," Duffy told the TV station.
Duffy learned of a recent New York Times article on racist discrimination in the appraisal process, and she decided to apply some of the lessons she read about.
"I decided to do exactly what was done in the article," Duffy said. "I took down every photo of my family from my house. … I took every piece of ethnic artwork out, so any African artwork — I took it out. I displayed my degrees, I removed certain books."
Duffy asked a white male friend sit in on her home appraisal and didn't declare her race in the application or other communications with the appraisal company — and the appraisal came back at more than double the first two, valuing her home at more than $100,000 higher.
"I get choked up even thinking about it now because I was so excited and so happy," Duffy said, "and then I was so angry that I had to go through all of that just to be treated fairly."
Duffy and the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana asked the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to investigate the discrepancies, after the FHCCI found that comparable sales had been pulled from Black neighborhoods more than a mile away, rather than those closer to her home.
"Whether or not those comps were fairly selected is something that is the basis of the complaints that we have filed," said Amy Nelson, executive director of the FHCCI.
[via Raw Story]