In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we spoke with Nalee Vue, President of AREAA Twin Cities, to highlight their work as one of our partner organizations.
What is the mission of your organization?
AREAA Twin Cities’s mission is dedicated to promoting sustainable homeownership opportunities and closing the racial disparity gap in the Asian American Pacific Islander communities by creating a powerful voice locally and nationally for housing and real estate professionals that serve this dynamic market.
How does your organization define success?
Success coming to fruition would be bridging the racial disparity gap amongst real estate and housing professionals from all backgrounds so that they can continue to better serve families in the AAPI community and increase the number of homeownership for refugee immigrants and millennial buyers in achieving the American dream. AAPI borrowers have some of the highest median incomes of any borrower group, but it still takes a long time for them to save for a 20% downpayment at 24.6 years. Highlighting underserved homebuying communities with further support of language barriers, revising antiquated credit scoring models and restructuring loan underwriting standards that do not account for the self-employed, entrepreneurial AAPI buyer qualifications in order to move the needle on the AAPI homeownership rate, would define success!
What is an interesting fact about your organization most people don’t know?
AREAA National successfully persuaded the US Census Bureau to track and include Asian housing data as a standalone category in its quarterly reports on homeownership by race and ethnicity.
What plans does your organization have for 2021?
Since the pandemic due to limited in-person events, we continue to strive for as many educational events as possible virtually and small gatherings at a minimal, creating community events for real estate and housing professionals to expand diversity and break barriers across different communities and hosting virtual fundraisers as well as donations to help other impactful non-profit organizations in the AAPI community fulfill their mission. Our goal is to reach 100 members in 2021 and advocate at a national level in support of AREAA National’s 3-Point Policy Plan:
- Ensuring the Continued Access and Commitment to Affordable Lending for Minority Homebuyers in GSE Reform
- Reforming Credit Scoring Models to Increase Access to Credit for Clean, Thin Credit Individuals
- Promoting Greater Understanding of the Needs of Buyers with Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
What inspires you / what do you love most about the work your organization does?
What inspires me most is my parents. They came to the U.S. as refugee immigrants and did not become official homeowners until their early 40’s and 50’s. They always worked hard all their life in agriculture and pushed to achieve homeownership for as long as I can remember as a little girl. My parents inspired me to help other families in the AAPI community who are also struggling with the dream of homeownership. I love that AREAA Twin Cities is truly the voice for many AAPI homebuyer families who are uninformed of the homeownership resources available to them. We are not only focused on promoting sustainable homeownership, but we have a large group of phenomenal advocates in our Twin Cities Chapter and across all AREAA chapters in the U.S. who continue to advocate and reform lending regulations to help increase the homeownership dream for many minority families.
How can people get involved with your organization?
If you’re passionate about advocating, leadership, or volunteering we’d love for more real estate and housing professionals to take the torch and continue helping us fulfill our mission! Please reach out to Nalee Vue at 612-385-3427 or via email at email@example.com. You can also visit our website at AREAA, where you’ll see the many faces that make a difference in AREAA!