At its best, safe and affordable housing is a critical stabilizing force for low income communities. Since rent or mortgage is usually the single largest expense for families, reducing the cost burden and creating more affordable housing allows households enough money to spend on other necessities like food and healthcare. Stable, healthy, and affordable housing guarded by city tenant protections can serve as the physical roots for residents to become part of a cohesive community or neighborhood.
This report analyzes APEN's community housing surveys and interviews of low income Asians -- alongside Census data, housing policies, and overall housing conditions -- in two key East Bay cities: Richmond and Oakland. Richmond and Oakland are at the center of our study not only because they house APEN's organizing projects, but also because both cities have an opportunity to take leadership on affordable housing issues in the region. These key cities have large redevelopment areas and high percentages of low income and people of color communities -- including growth in Asian and Pacific Islander communities.
This report is guided by the following research questions:
1. What are the key existing housing policies aimed at addressing the unmet housing need for low income people?
2. What are the economic conditions facing low income Asians in the current housing crisis, and how are they different from the overall population? What are the physical conditions? What are the current tenants protections?
3. What are the overall impacts of the current housing conditions on low income Asian families, youth, and communities?
4. What are the policies that will solve the root causes of the housing crisis?