AAHC Holds Homeowners Workshop for Asian Americans
For many Americans, homeownership is the American dream. But for many immigrants – especially Asian Americans, there are a lot of barriers to that dream – language differences, scanty information, and lacking legal aid.
The early morning rain did not deter more than 60 members of the Asian American community and 30 volunteers from attending a workshop titled “Homeownership Matters in AAPO Communities,” hosted by the Asian-American Homeownership Counseling Inc. (AAHC) on July 14. Venue was the John F. Kennedy High School in Silver Spring, Maryland.
The workshop, which was translated into seven different languages, including Vietnamese and Mandarin, was intended to educate the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community on a wide variety of housing related issues, including mortgage debt forgiveness, Making Home Affordable programs, fair housing laws and loan modification scams.
Minh Truong, a Vietnamese-American who attended the workshop, appreciated the information. “A lot of this information is not available to the Asian community and I really appreciate the organizers (AAHC) for putting together this event,” she said.
The workshop addressed some of the most pressing problems in the Asian American community. In his opening remarks, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett addressed the Asian minority myth, that all Asian Americans are “well-off” and do not need assistance in homeownership education, and that they do not experience problems including misinformation and fraud due to language barriers and discrimination.
The same point was later echoed by HUD Assistant Secretary of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity John Trasviña. Trasviña said that one in five AAPI families experience housing discrimination, yet only 1% of HUD’s Fair Housing complaints are from AAPI community.
The event closed with Maryland Attorney General, Douglas Gansler, who provided information on Maryland’s $957 Million Settlement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers.
Funds from the settlement will go to relieve distressed Maryland homeowners. A workshop will be held in Virginia on August 11, Saturday, from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale Campus. For more information, visit www. http://www.oag.state.md.us/ or email AAHC at firstname.lastname@example.org.