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Flagstar Donates $1M to Combat Appraisal Bias

New York Community Bancorp (NYCB) has announced that its subsidiary, Flagstar Bank, has donated $1 million to the Appraiser Diversity Initiative (ADI), a collaboration between the Appraisal Institute, the National Urban League, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. The ADI aims to attract more diverse applicants to the appraisal field, overcome barriers, such as education and access, and provide support to help aspiring appraisers achieve professional success.

"Curbing racial bias in real estate and appraisals has not garnered the attention of more familiar barriers to homeownership for minorities, such as the lack of funds for a down payment and credit scores," said Thomas R. Cangemi, President and CEO of NYCB. "Now with the involvement of a government task force and the advocacy of the Appraiser Diversity Initiative, paths for success are being developed for diverse, aspiring appraisers."

Flagstar’s funding of the ADI will:

  • Support recruiting, training, and credentialing of diverse appraiser trainees.
  • Support pathways to appraiser licensing through industry connections and experience, including simulations of the appraisal experience as an alternative to the traditional supervisory appraiser-trainee model.
  • Sponsor and support recruiting workshops in targeted markets.

"As a leading national originator of home loans, Flagstar is deeply invested in the appraisal business," said Lee Smith, President of Mortgage at Flagstar. "We understand the damaging effects of appraisal bias and the importance of diversity in service professions such as appraisals. We're excited to be part of the team working to help make homeownership more accessible to more minorities and look for good things to come from Flagstar's involvement and support," Smith said.

Headquartered in Hicksville, New York, NYCB has regional headquarters in Troy, Michigan. Flagstar Bank operates 395 branches, and Flagstar Mortgage operates nationally through a wholesale network of approximately 3,000 third-party mortgage originators.

"The Appraisal Institute is grateful for Flagstar's generous and important commitment to the Appraiser Diversity Initiative, which we expect will open doors to minorities and help diversify the appraisal field," said Appraisal Institute President Craig Steinley.

Jake Williamson, SVP, Single-Family Collateral Risk Management, Fannie Mae, added, "Advancing diversity in the appraisal workforce is a key component to reducing instances of appraisal bias and knocking down barriers in the home valuation process. We commend Flagstar Bank for their contribution to ADI, which reflects the growing industry commitment to expanding opportunities for new appraisal professionals to begin their careers."

"We appreciate the support of Flagstar Bank for this great initiative," said Pamela Perry, Single-Family VP of Equitable Housing at Freddie Mac. "Already, our ADI efforts have put hundreds of diverse candidates on the path to success and this commitment by Flagstar Bank will help us create even more opportunities for the next generation of appraisal professionals."

About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.

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