AAFE’s work on community planning, policy and applied research aims to lift up the experiences and priorities of residents in order to effect policy change, and to influence decision-making on land use, affordable housing development, transportation infrastructure, economic development, and the investment of public resources in our neighborhoods. Each year, AAFE’s Asian American Community Development Conference  brings city, state and national leaders in community and economic development together to explore how these and other issues affect New York City’s rapidly growing Asian American population.


Community Planning: AAFE is deeply committed to fostering resident action in local planning initiatives through our model of community education, grassroots outreach and participatory visioning. Our method is multilingual, inter-generational, broad-base, and consensus-driven. AAFE’s community planning initiatives advance equity by engaging those most directly affected by a policy or neighborhood concerns to participate in advocacy and organizing campaigns that create change.  In recent years, AAFE’s community planning has impacted an array of local and city-wide policy areas: establishing the Chinatown Lower East Side Acquisition Program in partnership with the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development; the revitalization of Allen and Pike Street that resulted from AAFE’s Rebuild Chinatown Initiative in cooperation with Hester Street Collaborative and the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation; the 30% inclusionary zoning requirement for affordable housing in Willets Point; and a small business retention initiative and streetscape beautification plan for Flushing’s Union Street.


Policy and Applied Research: AAFE conducts primary, community-based research and secondary data analysis to understand and take action on housing, economic, and social concerns that are initially identified on the ground through our direct services, organizing and housing preservation activities. Our report Demolition through Intentional Neglect – a Tactic of Predatory Landlords to Demolish Rent-Regulated Housing details a growing practice that both endangers tenants and our city’s much-needed affordable housing supply and identifies the 120 buildings most susceptible to demolition.