Home values, displacement, and racial inequality in Richmond

Jan 14, 2024 | by

Director of Research for Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) Bryan Moorefield gave a presentation yesterday at the Broad Rock Library on home values, displacement, and racial inequality in Richmond.

One of the core take-aways is that housing in Black neighborhoods is valued at 17% less than housing in an equivalent white neighborhood – an average difference of almost $31,000 per homeowner. (Here is a NEXT CITY piece from 2018 that goes into this better than I’m going to be able to.)

Appraisal bias is a contributing factor to housing valuation differences. There are baked in historical biases going back to redlining, as well as more current algorithmic biases that can lead to chaotic and destabilizing home valuations in Black neighborhoods.

The question is how to erase this difference, without leading to gentrification and displacement. Possible solutions include investment in areas such as schools, transit networks, walkability, and greening, paired with with tax relief in rapidly increasing or gentrifying areas. Currently the city can only offer tax relief to the elderly, veterans, and people with disabilities, but there is an effort at the state level to make this more expansive.

The map above was part of the presentation, and is also included in HOME’S CREDIT INEQUALITY & HOUSING ACCESS.

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