National CAPACD Newsletter: December 2013

Support National CAPACD with a Tax-Deductible Year-End Donation!

As we look forward to a joyous holiday season filled with the spirit of giving, please consider a year-end tax deductible donation to National CAPACD. Your support and participation has allowed us to continue to address the growing housing, community and economic development needs in Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. 

National CAPACD highlights and accomplishments from 2013 include the following: 
  • Released the report, “Spotlight: Asian American & Pacific Islander Poverty”, which brought attention to the growing poverty in AAPI communities. 
  • Held a Congressional briefing on AAPI poverty in collaboration with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and the Congressional Out of Poverty Caucus.
  • Welcomed Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) and the Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS) to our Housing Counseling Network, a network of now nineteen local housing counseling agencies that provided linguistically and culturally-relevant services to over 8,600 clients from FY2012-2013. 
  • Supported peer-to-peer learning among 12 community based organizations to build capacity in small business and community economic development as part of our ACTION TA program
  • Convened more than two hundred community leaders at this year’s 13th Annual Convention – “Building Equity, Building Power: Redefining Community Development” – to discuss key policy issues including housing financing reform, immigration reform, and the economic recovery. 
  • Restructured our Community in the Capital Program from its original 3-day advocacy convening to a year-long fellowship program.
  • Provided congressional testimony on the growing poverty and loss of wealth in AAPI communities and the role that AAPI small businesses play in reversing this trend during the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee Roundtable – “Closing the Wealth Gap: Empowering America to Reach their Full Economic Potential for Growth and Job Creation.”
  • Supported the confirmations of Director Richard Cordray (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), Secretary Tom Perez (Department of Labor), and Director Mel Watt (Federal Housing Finance Agency) to critical leadership positions in the Administration that will have a long-term impact in addressing many priorities for AAPI communities. Submitted public comments on HUD’s proposed rules regarding Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing that provided recommendations to encourage continued investment in low-income communities of color and minimize the displacement of residents and families.  
  • Submitted public comments regarding HUD’s Housing Counseling Certification proposed rule that addressed concerns related to compliance costs and certification fees, staffing requirements for HUD certified agencies, and subject matter and topical requirements. 
None of this is possible without you! We hope that you will support our work to continue to build stronger and more vibrant AAPI communities across the nation.

Donations can be made online through our website or by mail to our Washington, DC office. 

For federal employees participating in the Combined Federal Campaign, our CFC number is 17320.

Happy Holidays!
Save the Date! The 2014 National CAPACD Convention June 8-11 in Washington, DC!

National CAPACD's 14th Annual Convention will take place from Sunday to Wednesday, June 8-11, 2014 in Washington, DC!

Each year, National CAPACD’s National Convention attracts over 250 staff and community leaders from AAPI-serving organizations across the country making it one of the largest gatherings of community-based practitioners, policy makers, legislative representatives, corporations and foundations working with AAPI communities nationwide.

Follow National CAPACD on Facebook or Twitter for the latest updates!

Community in the Capital Advocacy Institute

The Community in the Capital Advocacy Institute took place from November 19th to 21st, bringing together eleven community leaders from around the country to Washington, DC to deepen their perspectives on federal issues impacting AAPI communities and develop a coordinated national advocacy strategy. Throughout their year-long fellowship, the CITC fellows will address growing poverty in AAPI communities by focusing on federal policies that support strategies to help individuals build assets and achieve economic security. 

The 2013-2014 Community in the Capital Fellows are: 

Desiree Vea – Hawaiian Community Assets; Honolulu, HI

Mindy Au – Interim Community Development Association; Seattle, WA

Imtiaz Hossain – Chhaya CDC; Jackson Heights, NY

Sarah Teater – East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation; Oakland, CA

Grace Shim – MinKwon Center for Community Action; New York, NY

Stephen Lee – Center for Pan Asian Community Services; Atlanta, GA

Kimberly Tang – Chinese Community Center; Houston, TX

Michael Yee – Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority; Seattle, WA

Kim Train – Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment; Los Angeles, CA

Yunie Hong – Hmong National Development; Washington, DC

Mike Murase – Little Tokyo Service Center CDC; Los Angeles, CA

Congressional Briefing on AAPI Poverty Report

On November 20th, National CAPACD was joined by Representative Barbara Lee and community leaders on Capitol Hill to discuss strategies to address the growing number of AAPIs living in poverty today. The event was hosted in collaboration with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and the Congressional Out of Poverty Caucus and also featured an overview of National CAPACD’s recent report, “Spotlight: Asian American & Pacific Islander Poverty”. 

“‘Spotlight: AAPI Poverty’ uncovers the magnitude of damage inflicted upon AAPIs during the recession and shows us that recovery is still far from many of our neighborhoods”, noted Lisa Hasegawa, Executive Director of National CAPACD, “The faces of poverty in America today include a growing number of AAPIs, and we call for renewed efforts to ensure that linguistically isolated, underserved communities of color have access to opportunities for building wealth and achieving economic security”.

A panel discussion featuring national advocates and community leaders described many of the unique challenges facing underserved AAPIs, including high levels of linguistic isolation and disproportionately high housing costs. Panelists also highlighted strategies to address poverty including protecting the social safety net by repealing sequestration, reforming asset limits on public benefit programs, and reiterating the need for a more equitable tax code.

Poverty Report Update - 5 Reasons Why AAPI Poverty Remains Invisible

In September 2013, the National CAPACD, Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP), and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco hosted a briefing on growing poverty in the AAPI community. The event highlighted findings from a recently released National CAPACD report about AAPI poverty and generated an important discussion on promising strategies for addressing poverty and broader economic need in the AAPI community. 

2012 American Community Survey data shows that AAPIs have had the fastest growing poverty population of any racial/ethnic group since the onset of the Recession. This surprising statistic is driven by a dramatic increase in AAPI poverty from 2011 to 2012. The numeric growth of AAPI poverty represents almost a third of the total increase in poverty among the general population. Further, while the rates of growth in poverty population have slowed somewhat for other groups as the economy has improved, AAPI poverty is continuing to increase.

To read the full post, please visit the San Francisco Federal Reserve's blog.

Fast for Families

National CAPACD board members and staff fasted in solidarity with faith, labor, immigrant rights, and community advocates in a call for commonsense reforms to our broken immigration system. Board members, staff, and allies of National CAPACD fasted for 24 hour periods throughout the week of December 2nd-6th in support of the “Fast for Families” advocates fasting on the National Mall. 

Joining the "Fast for Families" was:

Hyeok Kim, Interim Community Development Association (Seattle, WA)

Michael Byun, Asian Services in Action (Cleveland, OH)

Michelle Kauhane, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (Honolulu, HI)

Maiko Winkler-Chin, Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (Seattle, WA)

Sefa Aina, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (Pomona, CA)

Joni Byun, Nakatomi and Associates (Los Angeles, CA)

Dean Matsubayashi, Little Tokyo Service Center CDC (Los Angeles, CA)

Lua Pritchard, Asian Pacific Cultural Center (Tacoma, WA)

Lynette Jung Lee (Oakland, CA)

Doua Thor (Washington, DC)

Lisa Hasegawa (Washington, DC) 

Maria Carzon (Washington, DC)

Melvin Tabilas (Washington, DC)

Among the original fasters was Dae Joong Yoon, Executive Director of the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC), who fasted for 22 days. 

“I want to thank my fellow brothers and sisters in the National CAPACD network for standing with me and raising your voices for immigration reform,” said Yoon, “Our community has demonstrated and upheld a high moral power and family values through fast and prayer. Our movement does not abide by a calendar or deadlines set by Congress. We will continue and each day we become stronger. We have faith that more American sisters and brothers will join us. We’ll make sure our lawmakers listen to the people’s voice and make them accountable in the coming months."  

“Dae Joong has inspired so many of us with his sacrifice,” noted Lisa Hasegawa, Executive Director of National CAPACD, “I was so honored to represent National CAPACD as I sat with the solidarity fasters. I am inspired by their commitment to continue the fast until Congress passes immigration reform."

Sign up for the Stand with Families: Time to Act Campaign today to support Asian American and Pacific Islander immigrant families! Please visit for more information. For more information on the Fast for Families, please visit the official website.

Federal Policy Updates

Senate Confirms Representative Mel Watt to Lead FHFA

On December 10th, the Senate confirmed Representative Mel Watt as the new director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). As the federal agency that oversees Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration, Representative Watt will have a critical role in the future of our nation’s housing policy. 

“This confirmation is encouraging news for many low-income Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities still struggling in the wake of the recession,” said Lisa Hasegawa, Executive Director of National CAPACD, “With a strong track record standing against predatory lending and supporting affordable housing opportunities in low-income communities of color, we are confident that Representative Watt will be an advocate for millions of Americans still seeking mortgage relief. We look forward to working with Representative Watt as he leads the FHFA into a new and promising direction.”

Congress to Pass the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013

Congress recently approved the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, a compromise negotiated by Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray and House Budget Chair Paul Ryan that eliminates $63 billion in automatic sequestration cuts and sets spending levels above $1 trillion dollars for FY 2014 and FY 2015. While it does not replace sequestration, the deal does provide some limited relief for FY2014 and FY2015, averts another government shutdown, and brings some normalcy back to the federal budget and appropriations process. 

National CAPACD Comments on Proposed Housing Counseling Certification Rule

National CAPACD recently submitted public comments on HUD’s proposed rule concerning mandatory housing counseling certifications. Click here to view the final comments.

The proposed HUD rule will require all housing counselors to complete a comprehensive certification process to provide housing counseling services. Further, all HUD-approved housing counseling organizations will be required to employ at least one certified counselor at all times to maintain organizational HUD certification.
Our recommendations focused on three main concerns:
  • Compliance costs and certification fees – Certification fees will be a challenge for small non-profit housing counseling organizations. We recommend that HUD include in the final rule options to mitigate costs associated with training and certifying counselors, especially for organizations with smaller budgets.
  • Staffing requirements for HUD certified agencies – With relatively few counselors employed per organization and with normal staff turnover in our network, we recommend that HUD clarify the “at least one” certified counselor requirement per organization to ensure that CBOs are able to maintain organizational certifications and continue offering services in the event of staff turnover.
  • Subject matter and topical requirements – The certification test encompasses six topic areas that HUD considers essential to housing counseling. We recommend that HUD allow for public comment on the testing and training materials to ensure that topics are applicable to housing counseling services on the ground.