Just as the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance passed its one-year birthday, it announced Wednesday that it struck up a new partnership with the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA).
The partnership was formalized in a memorandum of understanding between the two organizations, and is focused on “efforts to combat discrimination and hate against the LGBTQ+ and Asian American Pacific Islander communities,” according to a statement. Specifically, the two groups will work on raising awareness about issues related to discrimination, increasing homeownership rates, and education initiatives.
In the statement, Alliance CEO Ryan Weyandt said that “our shared experiences as victims of discrimination and hate” should “create powerful synergies that will effect change.”
“It is well documented that homeownership rates for the LGBTQ+ community and the [Asian American Pacific Islander] community are significantly lower than those for the general American population,” Weyandt continued. “This is largely due to housing discrimination, which often goes unreported and therefore unaddressed, along with a lack of understanding and education.”
Discrimination against Asian Americans has come under scrutiny over the last year, with a number of reports indicating that hate crimes against Asian Americans are on the rise. In some cases, such incidents have been linked to the coronavirus pandemic, which began in Wuhan, China.
Wednesday’s statement on the new partnership added that “there have been more than 3,800 anti-Asian hate incidents in the U.S. since the pandemic began.” The statement went on to say that many LGBT Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders additionally have to engage in a “balancing act” between their two identities.
The Alliance formed one year ago amid turmoil within the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP). Over the ensuing 12 months, the Alliance has racked up partnerships with numerous companies and advocacy groups including the National Association of Realtors, Realogy, RE/MAX, Keller Williams and others.
Amy Kong, president of AREAA, indicated in the statement that she was happy to add her own organization to the list of Alliance partners, calling it a “proud moment.”
“Additionally, diversity, equality and inclusion efforts are gaining momentum, but there is still much work to be done in our nation,” Kong said in the statement. “There is an African proverb that says, ‘if you want to go far, go together.’ For AREAA, working with the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance is the beginning of an important journey that will in fact take us far — far from today’s climate of hate.”