Black couple in Marin City settle home appraisal suit

Marin City via city website

A Black couple in Marin City has settled a lawsuit against an appraiser who assessed their home for a far lower price than a white couple.

The undisclosed settlement was a win for Paul Austin and Tenisha Tate Austin, who said their real estate appraiser said their home was worth $995,000 in 2020, even though another appraiser said the same home was worth $1,482,500 a few weeks later when a white friend posed as the owner.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Monday's settlement also includes financial compensation from Janette Miller and her firm, Miller and Perotti Real Estate Appraisers. 

It also requires Miller to attend training on prevention of housing discrimination in the county and to watch "Our America: Lowballed," an ABC documentary that highlights the case.

The home is in Marin City, an unincorporated area with a Black population of about 36%, compared with 1% in nearby Sausalito. 

The city's website touts that Marin City was once a place where African Americans from the south would come to in search of "employment and opportunity."