AREAA celebrates Fair Housing Act at sixth annual gala

Vicky Silvano, Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) 2016 national chairwoman, inducted the new executive board members and board of directors for 2018 on Jan. 11 at Granite Links Golf Club. (Image courtesy of Shira Laucharoen.)

The Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) Boston chapter’s sixth annual gala welcomed 250 guests at Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy on Jan. 11. The event commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and introduced the new executive board and board of directors for 2018.

AREAA is a nonprofit professional trade organization with a mission of promoting housing opportunities for the Asian American community, creating a powerful national voice and campaigning for social issues to serve the country. AREAA has united over 15,000 members across the United States and Canada and is the largest Asian association in North America.

“In 2018, we are going to continue to drive for sustainable home ownership for Asian Americans,” said 2016-2017 Boston chapter president Dick Lee. “Our plan is to educate members and non-members, along with advocating on Beacon Hill and Capitol Hill.”

Donald Choi, 2018-2019 Boston chapter president, emphasized this year is a pivotal moment to be celebrating the Fair Housing Act, a piece of legislation that protects buyers or renters of homes from landlord discrimination. The act was brought into effect by President Lyndon B. Johnson in the aftermath of civil unrest precipitated by the death of Martin Luther King Jr. Choi said that while the law has generated great changes, there is still much progress the nation must advance towards.

“Nothing is more important than courage and innovation,” said Choi. “We still have states that have it in their constitutions not to allow foreigners to own property. That is unacceptable.”

This past year, AREAA continued to inform and advocate through its conferences and conventions. At the AREAA Policy Summit in Washington, D.C., the organization created a three-point policy plan outlining key issues relevant to the Asian American community, including student debt, credit scoring and language access reform.

“A lot of immigrants come to us and don’t know the language,” said 2020-2021 president-elect Elena Lau. “We are advocating for language accessibility so they know what they are signing up for, instead of signing documents blindly.”

Vicky Silvano, 2016 AREAA national chairwoman, said the value of AREAA as an organization strengthens the causes of the Asian American market and creates a dynamic vision.

“Without AREAA, we are voiceless and silenced,” Silvano said. “Without AREAA, we are invisible. Without AREAA, we are not counted.”

AREAA Tampa president Victoria Vo and AREAA Boston board of directors member Richard Kim presented as emcees for the event. (Image courtesy of Shira Laucharoen.)

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