The Asian and Pacific Islander Community Improvement Association (APICIA) is a 501©(3) non-profit organization and was created to promote homeownership opportunities for the diverse Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities in Oregon and SW Washington . To accomplish this, APICIA's work involves: facilitating the API community's access to home buying resources; administering housing-related projects as a community service; and ensuring API community members are not denied equal opportunity to home buying opportunities due to race, national origin or language differences.
Beginning in late 1999, APICIA functioned as an ad hoc committee and was known as the Asian Home Buying Association (AHBA). The Portland HUD Office with the support of Key Bank convened the first planning meetings of the committee. It was organized by a consortium of Asian community organizations, private businesses, housing industry representatives, public agencies and volunteers with bi-lingual skills in English and Asian language. Partnering with the Portland Housing Center, an established non - profit housing organization, the AHBA has been engaged in organizing and presenting home buying fairs and educational workshops targeting the API community and limited-English speaking Asian populations. Before AHBA existence, the needs of these groups were not effectively met and their ability to access home-buying information was limited. The AHBA presented its first Asian Home Buyer's Fair in 2000 and has successfully presented this fair on an annual basis since then reaching an increasing number of fair attendees each succeeding year. Workshops have been presented in an array of different Asian languages including Hmong, Laotian, Chinese, Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog as well as Russian and English. While the workshops are free to the public, the fairs have been supported by public funds and sponsorship fees charged to fair booth participants. Out of the sponsorship fees, APICIA has initiated a Down Payment Assistance program for qualified homebuyers with up to $750 per family subject to availability of funds.
To expand its efforts and increase its effectiveness, the ad hoc committee in 2004 initiated efforts to establish itself as an independent non-profit organization. Through the formal formation of APICIA, the new organization intends to expand its efforts and services in addressing the housing and community development needs of the API community as well as expanding its current programs. While the primary focus of its activities will be on the API community, all fairs and resources will be available to qualified members of the public.