Healthy and Thriving Communities and Neighborhoods

Preserve culturally significant AAPI neighborhoods and communities at risk of displacement

Ensure existing residents and community businesses benefit from equitable Transit Oriented Development investments rather than face displacement.

  • Mandate a land use analysis for investments, as well as a baseline of affordable housing, technical assistance, and access to capital for community businesses.
  • Revise the definition of eligible uses of FTA “transit-related funds” to include affordable housing and eTOD planning.
  • Create incentives for the disposition of temporary properties during construction and other existing transit agency owned and public properties to be made available for 50% affordable housing.
  • Create greater community accountability in environmental assessments such as requiring community benefits agreements, planning engagement, equity scorecards, and neighborhood area plans.
  • Provide mitigation for neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by highway and other federal transit development construction, especially pollution and other toxics resulting from federal projects.

Require funded community engagement processes in any publicly supported or tax credit development projects incorporating work with local community organizations, impact scorecards, and baseline community benefits.

  • Require local municipalities to issue meaningful notifications of upcoming developments, including to stakeholder community organizations in the area.
  • Invest in linguistically and culturally appropriate public education and engagement around planning process (potentially require 10% of project costs to be invested toward this).
  • Shift resources that currently exist for local governments to conduct outreach around planned developments to local area nonprofits.
  • Require an impact analysis based on socio-economic factors along with environmental impact, adding language specifically about potential impact on culturally significant communities.

Create a national hot markets program to address displacement of low-income renters and small businesses.

  • Create incentives for cities to establish meaningful inclusionary zoning and rent control measures to prevent displacement of low-income residents, including guidance to prioritize at least 50% use of public land for fair access to affordable housing in hot markets
  • Create a Cultural District designation that implements a series of protections for neighborhoods which serve as economic survival hubs for low-income communities of color.
  • Invest in housing preservation through tenant services and education to stabilize housing stock, including increased flexibility of CDBG funds in hot markets.
  • Create a national Section 8 Stabilization Program that extends or makes permanent contracts and increases vouchers in “hot market” cities.
  • Improve regulation of home sharing companies such as AirBnB to protect existing affordable housing and ensure it does not replace long term affordable rental housing in hot markets.
  • Develop guidance defining “hot market” neighborhoods under the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule to guide prioritization of affordable housing investments.
  • Support community businesses through a Community Business Tax Credit for relief on rising rents and real estate taxes.
  • Create a Renters Tax Credit, particularly applicable in “hot market” cities with the goal that low-income renters pay no more than 30% of income toward rent with an income eligibility of 60% or below of the local median income.
  • Create an anti-speculation tax on properties to reduce property flipping schemes, and investigation into predatory equity firms for violations of housing rights.
  • Create an Office of Racial Equity within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to ensure Title VI of Civil Rights Act is upheld. The Office would provide oversight, impact analysis, and evaluation of programs for communities of color.
Disaggregated data that reflects the needs for services and resources in low-income AAPI communities

Ensure that federal agencies better collect data on AAPI communities overall – disaggregating existing data sets and increasing investment in obtaining better data that reflects the needs of low-income AAPI communities. Specific examples include:

  • 2017 Housing Vacancy Survey: Improved data collection in areas of high concentration of poverty will better inform all HUD programs as well as serve to leverage local and regional resources aimed at alleviating poverty. Additional surveying focused on top MSAs will reveal specific areas of need within low-income AAPI communities.
  • Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA): Include disaggregated data on AAPI borrowers and language preferences in the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.
  • Census 2020: Improve data collection to capture sub-populations, as well as greater investment in outreach efforts in regions where low-income AAPIs reside.
  • Collect disaggregated AAPI data on small business lending and practices.
Equitable access to federal place-based investments
  • Use the poverty line rather than Area Median Income in criteria for federal place based programs.
  • Create “Promise-Like” neighborhoods to prevent displacement and build resiliency in “hot market” neighborhoods, including a Renters Tax Credit and Section 8 stabilization programs.
  • Revise the Choice neighborhood model to be more conducive to community- building, i.e. not just focus on needs of seniors, but families as well.
  • Support the Upward Mobility Project and ensure that low-income AAPI communities benefit from it- the President’s proposed $1.5 billion of flexible federal funding available to ten states and/or communities to expand promising and evidence-based approaches to achieving better outcomes for children and improved family self-sufficiency.
  • Ensure that local community boards that drive Federal investments adequately reflect the ethnic and racial populations they represent.
  • Expand Promise Neighborhoods.
  • Expand Choice Neighborhoods.
  • Preserve and expand use of Transit-Oriented Development Funds.
Investment in physical and social infrastructure including transportation, public spaces, commercial districts, and community-based institutions
  • Extend the New Market Tax Credit.
  • Preserve and expand the 21st Century School Fund.
  • Improve ability to leverage programs to increase investments in partnerships among AAPI community based organizations and AAPI-serving institutions.
  • Expand support for Census outreach.
Active civic engagement and unencumbered access to neighborhood resources for youth, seniors and families
  • Remove exemptions for unjust racial profiling by state and local law enforcement agencies in the Department of Justice Guidance Law to address the unjust surveillance and targeting of communities and neighborhoods.
  • Support for anti-gun violence initiatives that address the root causes of violence, do not target communities of color, and are created towards the healing of communities-- not toward increasing the carceral system.
  • Enforce the Voting Rights Act, particularly in jurisdictions where Section 203 applies, localities where there are more than 10,000 or over 5 percent of the total voting age citizens in a single political subdivision who are members of a single minority language group, have depressed literacy rates, and do not speak English very well.
  • Invest in recruitment of poll workers with language capacity where Section 203 applies.
  • Authorize and appropriate funding for a Parks for All program – investing in outreach and programming by local parks departments and immigrant communities, modelled on the NYC Immigrants and Parks Collaborative.
  • Maintain investments in Community Health Centers, National Health Service Corps and Teaching Health Centers program.
Environmental justice for communities negatively impacted by climate change, highways, and toxics
  • Develop specific FEMA and HUD programs for displaced migrants from the COFA islands seeking housing, relocation assistance, and services.
  • Provide mitigation for neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by highway pollution and other toxics.
  • Include greater focus on neighborhood-wide energy conservation strategies in environmental impact statements to include factors such as storm water usages and reduction of greenhouse gases.
Creation of an Office of Racial Equity within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Establish an agency to ensure Title VI of Civil Rights Acts is upheld. The Office would provide oversight, impact analysis, and evaluation of programs on communities of color. Through this effort, our goal is to ensure that low-income AAPIs benefit from key federal programs, particularly those allocated through state and local processes. This will be modeled on the Office of Minority Health as well as existing examples on the local level such as those in Madison, WI, and Minneapolis, MN and Seattle’s Racial and Social Justice Initiatives.