Vincent Reina and Claudia Aiken have conducted a detailed study about access to housing assistance in Philadelphia’s Asian and Latino/a communities. The study emerged from concerns raised by community advocates during Philadelphia’s Assessment of Fair Housing process in 2016 that Asians and Latino/as are systematically excluded from municipal housing programs and planning processes. Reina and Aiken ask whether these groups are indeed underrepresented in Philadelphia housing programs, and if so, what barriers these two groups face to accessing housing assistance. The study relies on interviews with 26 stakeholders (including Asian and Latino/a community leaders, Asian- and Latino/a-serving nonprofits, and fair housing organizations) and 4 multilingual focus groups with Asian and Latino/a residents. It also incorporates analysis of 2016 National Asian American Survey data, census data, and City and Philadelphia Housing Authority program usage data to analyze rates of housing need, eligibility, and program participation by race and ethnicity. The research team also examines what implications their findings have nationally, given the increasing presence and diversity of Asians and Latino/as in cities across the United States.
The Russell Sage Foundation selected a paper resulting from this study for possible inclusion in a special issue of the Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences called “Asian Americans: Diversity and Heterogeneity.”