Homes in Black and Latino neighborhoods still undervalued 50 years after US banned using race in real estate appraisals | The Conversation

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

Junia Howell, University of Pittsburgh and Elizabeth Korver-Glenn, University of New Mexico

(THE CONVERSATION) The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

The big idea

Racial inequality in home values is larger today than it was 40 years ago, with homes in white neighborhoods appreciating $200,000 more since 1980 than comparable homes in similar communities of color.

Our new research on home appraisals shows neighborhood racial composition still drives unequal home values, despite laws that forbid real estate professionals from explicitly using race when evaluating a property’s worth. Published in the journal Social Problems, our study finds this growing inequality results from both historical policies and contemporary practices.

In the 1930s, the federal government institutionalized a process for evaluating how much a property was worth. Often called redlining, this process used

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A conversation with Pinellas County Clerk of Court Ken Burke

If you’ve ever bought a house, received a traffic ticket, gotten married or sued someone in Florida, there’s a record of it in the county clerk’s office. Its functions are often taken for granted, but perhaps no other government agency touches so many aspects of people’s lives.

First elected Pinellas County clerk of court in 2004 (and unopposed this year), Ken Burke heads an office that has won national acclaim for customer service but — like so many other organizations — has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Much of the office’s funding comes from traffic fines and filing fees, both of which have dropped dramatically since life slowed to a crawl in March. The result has been a 25 percent cutback in office staff.

Meanwhile, social distancing requirements have forced physical changes in courthouses and new procedures for jury selection.

Burke, a certified public accountant, recently spoke with the

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