The Presidential Debate on October 16, 2012, offered the last high profile opportunity to focus on domestic policy in the national campaign. Throughout these debates, AAFE has been dismayed that neither candidate discussed the acute housing crisis, which began in 2008; nor have President Obama and Governor Romney offered meaningful solutions for the countless families across the United States still facing foreclosures and struggling to find affordable housing. This election presents an ideal opportunity for the candidates to demonstrate leadership in tackling the housing problem, ensuring that housing policy remains a top priority in the next administration.

Foreclosures continue to affect families and to destabilize neighborhoods across New York City.  Despite a drop in the number of foreclosure actions filed against New York homeowners, a 2012 study by the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project found, the number of 90-day pre-foreclosure notices filed has increased drastically.  In the beginning of 2011, 53,216 pre-foreclosure notices were filed in NYC compared with 4,211 foreclosure actions filed in the courts, pointing to new waves of foreclosures that will continue well into 2013 or later.

An estimated 95,000 mortgages are at risk of foreclosure in New York City, with southeastern Queens, Central and Eastern Brooklyn, and Staten Island having the highest number of pre-foreclosure notices. Since 2008, AAFE’s Community Development Fund has responded to the greatest demand for foreclosure counseling in: Flushing, Bayside, Elmhurst, Corona, Jackson Heights, Ridgewood, and Jamaica in Queens; and Sunset Park, Bensonhurst and Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn.

AAFE has joined the National Coalition for Asian Pacific Community Development (CAPACD) and more than 80 organizations to be part of the National Home for Good Campaign. With less than one month left until Election Day, we aim to engage voters and bring national attention to the devastating effects of the housing crisis in our neighborhoods. The Home for Good Campaign is asking both presidential candidates to share with voters how they would: (1) stop needless foreclosures; (2) expand affordable rental housing; and (3) revive a sustainable path to homeownership.

“The country needs a plan to end the housing crisis and protect the dream of homeownership for all Americans,” said Christopher Kui executive director of AAFE. “Asian American families are primarily concentrated in some of the hardest-hit metropolitan regions, have experienced steep declines in home prices, face barriers in accessing affordable housing, and have experienced a disproportionate number of foreclosures.”

“The Home for Good Campaign aims to remind both candidates that voters are looking to them to advance housing policy reforms that revitalize neighborhoods and promote financial stability for low-income communities, expand access to affordable housing, and preserve what for many families is their largest singular asset—their home,” noted Lisa Hasegawa, executive director of National CAPACD. “The foreclosure crisis is still not over for thousands of families, and we expect the candidates to propose effective reforms that help homeowners today while preventing fraud and abuse going forward.”