Document Type

Occasional Paper

Publication Date



Relatively little research has been conducted that focuses on the housing situation of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (hereafter generally referred to as Asian Americans), especially on the national level. From a review of about 30 articles and reports over the past decade that examine racial/ethnic housing situations nationally, only one specifically addressed housing problems of Asian Americans (Hansen, 1986) while two others included Asian Americans along with other populations of color. Of the remaining articles, most used the terms race, racial discrimination, or segregation in their titles, yet did not include Asian Americans in the studies. Of particular note, in 1989 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sponsored a large scale housing discrimination study conducted by the Urban Institute and Syracuse University. This study provided national estimates of the levels of discrimination against Blacks and Latinos. A similar large-scale HUD study in 1977 had examined housing discrimination only against Blacks. Perhaps the next HUD discrimination study (if the agency survives government reorganization attempts) will finally include Asian Americans.

Most national research and policy reports on Asian Americans tend not to address their housing issues. For example, a recent U.S. Civil Rights Commission report (1992) discussed many significant issues facing Asian Americans, but not housing. Much of the research that has been conducted on the housing problems of Asian Americans has been at the local level, for example, Darden's (1986) study of differential segregation of Blacks, Latinos, American Indians and Asians in Michigan metropolitan areas; Sagara and Kiang's (1993) report on poverty in Boston's Asian American community, which includes a section on housing focused mostly on density and living conditions; and Chung's (1995) paper analyzing the evolving residential patterns of Asian Americans in eastern Massachusetts. Such studies are important and essential, especially given the diversity of the Asian American population and its geographical distribution, but for adequate policy and strategy development, an understanding of housing issues from a national perspective for the Asian American population as a whole is also needed.

Of the researchers who have looked at Asian American housing nationally, Hansen (1986) focused primarily on homeownership, overcrowding and physical conditions, while others (Massey and Denton, 1987; Woolbright and Hartmann, 1987) examined segregation. Thus, the housing affordability situation of Asian Americans is a subject that has received little attention by researchers.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.