WASHINGTON DC — For the first time, beginning in July, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders will have a distinct racial category in the US Census’ influential quarterly homeownership reports. The Census quarterly reports will have a new racial category for AAPIs starting in July 2016.
The Asian Real Estate Association of America recently announced the success of its “No Other” campaign to include distinct data on Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the US Census Bureau’s comprehensive quarterly reports on homeownership.
Previously, AAPI data was aggregated under the category of “other” ethnic groups in these reports, AREAA explained. With support from AAPI legislators and community leaders, AAREA initiated a “No Other” campaign, asking the Census Bureau to create a unique category for AAPI homeownership in the quarterly report.“
This historic change is the result of tireless work on part of many individuals and organizations, particularly AREAA members and chapters who campaigned hard to be heard throughout the country,” said Vicky Silvano, AREAA national chair.At a news conference at the National Press Club, AREAA representatives explained that AAPI community members took out 2 million home loans over the past five years, representing nearly $600 billion in mortgage originations.
Until now, AAPI homeownership data was only reported annually, AREAA explained. “But it is the Census Bureau’s quarterly homeownership statistics that are widely reported in the media and in academic/policy documents, therefore, these quarterly reports influence the broad policy and media dialogue around housing and homeownership related to the diverse communities,” Silvano said.
By creating a distinct category for AAPI homeownership in the quarterly reports, members of the AAPI community may also benefit in other ways, explained U.S. Rep. Mike Honda (D-Silicon Valley, California), who played an important role in the campaign.
“I was happy to lead the effort, alongside AREAA, to make this change a reality. Research shows that when all else is equal, members of our community are more likely to be denied a loan than any other racial group,” Honda said. “Twenty percent of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders report being discriminated against during a housing search. The new data shared by the Census Bureau will help inform my colleagues and other policymakers, so we can better direct funding to ensure the AAPI community can buy their own homes and live the American Dream.”
The Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), established in 2003, is a national business trade organization focused on expanding housing opportunities for Asian American communities and creating business opportunities for real estate business leaders who serve this growing market.
With 15,000 members, AREAA is the largest real estate trade association focused exclusively on facilitating cross-border transactions between Asia and the United States.